by Brad Aubin
Last month, the Tribune published an article about volunteers working to clean up and beautify downtown Sturgeon Falls. At that time, Renée Anne Paquette, Coordinator of Community Services for the municipality of WN, said the town was actively seeking volunteers for beautification efforts throughout the area, including outlying communities. Since then, she says some people have stepped up, and though they still need more volunteers, the work is already showing and instilling both beauty and pride throughout West Nipissing.
“We didn’t get many people from the callout to community members,” states Paquette. “But there has been a few people that have stepped up. Gayle [Primeau] and the folks that help her have been working very hard and stepping up. There are also some great, great folks that have continued their volunteer efforts year after year. People in Verner, Crystal Falls, Cache Bay, have all stepped up in our community. Some of them have been doing it for decades and I thought it was time for us to recognize them.”
So Paquette went around the sights that were taken care of and took pictures, gave volunteers water bottles, t-shirts, and took the time to thank them.
“It’s a lot of laborious work these volunteers do for us and we want to show them it’s truly appreciated. Our community is so big, it’s hard for us at the municipality to keep up with the demand. In the summer, just cutting the grass in all the fields is a full time job! So it’s wonderful to see these volunteers take care of their spots. We are still trying to recruit people that want to volunteer. For example I don’t have anyone at the Complex, the end of John and Clark St., and a few other areas around that we’d love to have more bodies.”
Some students have also taken up the challenge, recently painting the giant flower pots in downtown Sturgeon, as well as taking care of the violin-shaped flower garden along Front St. as people enter town from the west.
“I think it’s great that we got buy-in from the schools as well. Every school has had flower pots to paint, and we even had some students take care of the violin. Getting the youth to take ownership of their town is important and this is a great step!”
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Suzanne Vandal, Dan Roveda, and Gayle Primeau are some of the volunteers who have been working hard cleaning and beautifying downtown Sturgeon Falls for the past several weeks.