In the fall of 2010, the executive decided to use a $3,200 GIC to benefit the West Carleton community and decided the front grounds of Carp Memorial Hall, site of the WCGC meetings since the club formed in 1989, were in need of a facelift. Discussions began with the City of Ottawa, which owns the property, and the idea escalated into a $25,000, two-phase project to be done by a qualified contractor. To move forward, the club worked with the city through its Community Partnership Minor Capital Program. We were able to get the maximum grant of $7,500 through this program after matching that amount with our “Buy a Brick” campaign and donations from area businesses and individuals.
By the end of October, 2010, funding stood at $16,000.
Phase 1 of the project, which is complete, included a stone resurfacing to the front foundation, a retaining wall around the garden to level the planting area, an interlocking brick path leading to a garden bench and the planting of drought- and salt tolerant perennials, shrubs and groundcovers. We hired Thunderbolt Contracting Ltd., which offered a considerable donation back to the project. Work got underway at the end of August with a target of having it done for Carp Fair. A city-planted ash tree that was crowding a blue spruce the club had nurtured was taken down (the city was already cutting down many ash trees due to the emerald ash borer threat), but it only revealed that the spruce was not an attractive specimen for the centre of the village. It was also going to get much too large for the scale of the garden, so it was decided that the spruce be removed.
Replacing the spruce is a Robin Hill serviceberry that, in several years, should provide lovely shade for the bench. On the other side, a columnar crabapple was planted. On the far side of the ramp, rugosa roses replaced the existing invasive grasses. Included in the plantings was bearberry, potentilla, dwarf Japanese juniper, flame grass, Karl Foerster reed grass, yucca, sedge, artemisia, ajuga and spring daffodil bulbs donated by community members. The shrubs and perennials were planted by club members and an intensive watering schedule was adhered to until the cold weather set in. The urns were also donated and will be changed up seasonally. A temporary bench was replaced in early October by a permanent one donated by the city. An application to the Ontario Horticultural Association for a $500 special project grant was submitted to help pay for the plant materials.
Phase 2 of the project replaced existing signage with a much more attractive heritage sign noting the year the hall was built, which was 1921. Scotiabank helped to raise funds with various events and their head office will match the funds.
This community project was made possible through partnership with the City of Ottawa, support from the community through our “Buy a Brick” campaign and the generous donations of the following businesses, community groups and individuals: