By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Members of the Cornwall & District Horticultural Society (CDHS) aren't afraid to get their hands dirty to help clean up the city.
© Adam Brazeau
From left are Cornwall & District Horticultural Society members Rina Ruest, Paul St. Pierre, Christine St. Pierre, Rose Martin, John Seller, and Steve Larin.
On Saturday morning, CDHS partnered once again with the City of Cornwall to host Bark & Compost Day at the city's landfill.
Over 500 local residents packed the trunk of their vehicle with bags or large scoops of wood mulch and compost for a nominal fee.
A total of $7,000 was raised at the ninth annual event which included $3,000 in matched funds through Scotiabank, with one third of the proceeds going towards the Children's Christmas Fund.
Other revenue will help support the society's various ongoing beautification projects in the city such as building gardens at Habitat for Humanity homes and senior homes.
The event is CDHS's biggest fundraiser and Scotiabank has been a major sponsor for five years.
Savvy gardeners and green thumbs took full advantage of the sunny weather. A trend organizers are crediting for the larger than usual turnout this year.
The locally-produced mulch helps plants thrive with less effort and watering. While the compost, which is collected in the city and then composted at the landfill site for 18 months, is important for healthy soil.
Lynn Blanchard, CDHS co-president, said Bark & Compost Day is only possible because of the city's support, event sponsors, and dozens of society members and volunteers who take civic pride in their town.
"The community supports this event because they want nice compost and mulch for their gardens, we even provide and fill the bags so they don't have to do it themselves," said Blanchard. "Through them we get to give back to the community and the residents of Cornwall with the projects that we do."
City resident Karen Boulerice joined the society less than a year ago. Being a CDHS member allows her to stay on top of all the gardens her family's new Cornwall home happened to come with.
Standing at the landfill with her husband, Don, by her side, the two shoveled for hours on end. Both considered it a breath of fresh air.
"Volunteering is a great way to help out and meet the other members," said Boulerice.
Click here to visit the Cornwall & District Horticultural Society website.