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Every year, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Wallaceburg BIA membership discusses new projects to make downtown Wallaceburg a beautiful place to work, shop, and visit. A clean environment, a walkable streetscape, and engaging architecture can all contribute to beauty. The recent rejuvenation of the Glasstown Brewery Company property is a great example of this. We must continue to work as businesses and a community to create an inviting atmosphere for all.

One way that the BIA has always tried to create atmosphere downtown is through the creation of attractive gardens. The downtown Wallaceburg BIA has spent a substantial amount of funds improving the gardens and planters in downtown Wallaceburg. We funded the installation of new gardens at the bell in the Cecile Bechard Civic Park, on the corner of Wellington St. and Nelson St., and along Wellington St. in parking lot D. We care about our town, and we want it to look amazing all year round.

The Downtown Wallaceburg BIA has partnered with Debbie, owner of Tacq’s Garden Market to supply the amazing flowers every year for our hanging baskets and the concrete planters downtown. Deb has also been a key vendor in our Farmer’s Market since the beginning of that project. Wilford Landscaping has also worked with us to design, plant, and maintain many of the gardens throughout the downtown core, including the three listed above.

The Downtown Wallaceburg BIA works with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent on all beautification projects downtown. Any changes in infrastructure always start with a discussion between the two groups. Chatham-Kent maintains any beautification installed by the BIA and they are a key partner for making sure that all planters get watered and stay vibrant all summer long. Although the Municipality is responsible for maintaining the gardens downtown, they are understaffed and are not able to devote the time and care to weeding and maintenance that our town deserves. Every year, the Downtown Wallaceburg BIA has applied for summer students under the Canada Summer Jobs Grant. These students have been critical to filling this gap and keeping our gardens looking amazing all summer.

Before Covid, we started working on creating a horticultural committee downtown. This committee would help maintain gardens, plan new ones, and pick plants to be showcased. There is still a Facebook group dedicated to this project and eventually, we would like to see this take off. We are continuing to look for partners for this project so that we can continue to grow downtown Wallaceburg.

We are starting to plan the next chapter for downtown Wallaceburg. The tree canopy lining downtown on Wellington St. is starting to reach the end of its life. We would like to review our streetscape before replacing these trees. We welcome any input from members of the community whether they be existing businesses or members of the public. If the horticultural committee has formed, they will play a vital role in this plan. We don’t know how our gardens and trees will transform our downtown, but we look forward to creating and sharing this vision with you.

*Photos courtesy of Sherri-Anne Wills