Yonge in Bloom is committed to the beautification of the Village of Mallorytown and the Front of Yonge Township. The initiative took baby steps at first, but grew to a groundswell of support by individuals, and township employees.
“Communities in Bloom”, is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.
In 2001, Front of Yonge accepted their challenge, and embraced the full responsibility of developing its beauty, and environmental footprint. Financial support from the Township fostered the full bloom of creativity and eager work parties. Front of Yonge Communities in Bloom was born. This contest really motivated a beehive of activity. It was led by a few key players involving skill, strategy and much work.
We competed on a Provincial level before going National. Front of Yonge is proud to have earned and awarded a National “Five Bloom Municipality Award” for the following six years. In 2011 Front of Yonge stepped back from the competition and has continued to keep its valuable philosophies strong in the Township. The name of the committee changed to Yonge in Bloom.
Committed gardeners have taught and led the community. This group has become a close knit core group who make Mallorytown beautiful. There has grown a wide group of supporters who participate in craft sales, garden seminars, plant sales, and garden tours .Township of Front of Yonge, and its employees continue to cheerfully assist Yonge in Bloom.
Yonge in Bloom, (and friends) have mixed interests. Some are veteran flower and food gardeners, some have a keen interest in trees, and others are concerned about health and environmental issues. We all teach each other, and support key organizations in the Township.
Front of Yonge is contained within the UNESCO designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve (FABR).We share their goals of promoting sustainable development, sustainable tourism, sustainable agriculture, and continuing environmental education. Yonge in Bloom, (via the Township) is a committed member of FABR, and its goals.
Thousand Islands National Park at Mallorytown Landing invited us to advise and assist them with their floral/shrub renaturalization process. Yonge in Bloom gladly shared their expertise and effort to effect an environmentally friendly space, removing cultivated grass and planting indigenous species of trees and shrubs in a lovely, friendly setting.
Earth Day is held Canada wide on April 22 each year, and is embraced by Yonge in Bloom. We encourage the community in its annual ‘spring cleaning’. All public areas in the Township are scoured for waste. This is not a simple task, as there are two overpass exits from Highway 401 into our area. It is remarkable how much landfill can be peeled off these locations!
We have a history of school participation in the village. Fostering the love and art of gardening with the young people of our community is important. In the past, Front of Yonge Elementary School students have been encouraged to grow seeds in the classroom, and enjoy floral artwork projects. We encourage participation from our young families.
Children are very welcome to ‘work’ with us as we continue to add to our beautiful garden behind the Mallory Coach House (circa 1885). The Coach House was lovingly restored and converted into a museum 2005 to allow locals and tourists to discover, learn and celebrate the history of Mallorytown.
Education is a focus of our group. Not only do we work to teach children, but we present gardening seminars each spring to stimulate and share with the public. Folks from inside and outside our community look forward to these seminars. This raises needed money for flowers, and supplies for our plantings.
Spring is a busy time in the village. Not only do we host our popular seminars, but we set up an ambitious plant sale at the Ball Park in May. Locals share their own perennials with the public in a huge display. Eager gardeners come from far and wide to buy very healthy, very reasonably priced plants. Members of Yonge in Bloom are extremely willing to explain the identity, care and maintenance of all species offered. Again, monies go to our beautification projects. Novice gardeners appreciate our help very much. We love sharing!
Early summer hosts a Hidden Gardens Tour. Host gardens are selected, and opened to the public. Garden enthusiasts enjoy visiting the varied gardens of our region. Our gardens are as varied as our landscape. The Frontenac Arch boasts water, rock, forest and meadow. Our garden tours reflect that variety, making them a unique mirror of our region. Very impressive. Our hosts love sharing their plants, explaining their challenges, and displaying their passion for gardening. Being a host garden is a tremendous amount of work, but the Yonge in Bloom team generously helps out when needed. One of the highlights of the day is a delightful luncheon, displaying creative flower arrangements.
Yonge in Bloom teams with the Coach House volunteers to maintain Mallory Station, the Front of Yonge Library and Community Centre, Tony Kall Park, and the Mallory Coach House Complex. The beautification of our village hub supports and enhances musical, performances, a market, village fairs, and wedding photos! We are proud of this corner of Front of Yonge.
Members of our group take great pride in designing planters throughout the village. There are currently twelve planters strategically located for public enjoyment. It is impressive to see the creative planting themes delight us as the seasons change. Work shifts team together all summer and fall to plant, weed and water all the public beds and planters. This responsibility is taken very seriously.
Yonge in Bloom loves and nurtures our Front of Yonge Road of Remembrance. It was begun in 1999.This stretch of memorials, planters, flags, and trees are a source of pride for our community. We care for our fallen soldiers, and value their contribution to us. Each year adds another memory. Remembrance Road ceremonies keep our memories fresh in Mallorytown.
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