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Volunteers needed as flower planting returns from COVID hiatus

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Colourful blossoms will be planted up and down Cliffe Avenue with the help of community volunteers for the first time in two years.

The Mile of Flowers has been running since 1967, started by Kathleen Kirk when she set out to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary and welcome tourists for the summer. She planted around 8,000 seedlings, according to the city.

Planting flowers in the area has now been running for 55 years, despite a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Courtenay is now looking for between 200 and 500 local volunteers to help with the planting on May 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Courtenay mayor Bob Wells adds the event is a boost to community spirit and says the reward is watching the reactions of people involved.

“I think getting back to normalcy and giving people the opportunity to get out and really give back to the community,” said Wells. “It’s one of those things where those that are volunteering can really see the fruits of their efforts when those flowers pop up.”

The flowers are planted between 8th Steet and 21st Street. The city maintains the flower beds and waters using mulch to maintain the moisture.

Courtenay was well represented by tourism during the pandemic, according to Wells. But the flowers will serve as a refresh with the return to a more normal life.

Wells adds the number of volunteers is great seeing as the community effort is “warm and heartfelt.”

The city says no experience is needed and you need to bring garden gloves and a trowel.

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