Heritage Driving/Bicycling Tour: created in 2004 by the Heritage subcommittee to encourage people to explore the hidden gems in Central Elgin
Stork Club Mural: at the corner of William and George Streets in Port Stanley, CIB initiated a mural to commemorate the grand dance hall that had been on the Main beach. Artist Fred Harrison captured the big band era venue for posterity.
Edith Cavell Grass Turnaround: CIB volunteers xeriscaped the turnaround with beach grasses to enhance the beauty of the area.
Stone Church Parkette: at the four corners in Union a group of local volunteers and CIB committee members created a landscaped area in the vacant lot in 2004. The following year CIB volunteers replanted the gardens to perennials.
Sparta Gardens: 2 new gardens by the parking lot in Sparta were established in 2004 and replanted to perennials in 2005, as well as reworking the garden on the four corners under the new sign. In 2005, a new landscaped area and garden were created in front of the heritage sign and community hall with seating. The perennials were donated by local gardeners.
Belmont Gardens: volunteers from the HUB established gardens by the HUB and the Belmont Arena under the leadership of Sheila Woods.
Why Not Park: the park at the corner of William and Edith Cavell in Port Stanley was refurbished in 2004.
Union Dam project: the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority reconstructed the Union Dam and created a unique grass spillway. CIB volunteers help them reforest areas at the base of the spillway and to the north of the dam.
Cowan Park Playground: the Lynhurst/St. George Community Association supported the creation of a wonderful playground for local children and won the CIB local award for Community Involvement in 2004.
Archeological Scan: in the ravine behind the main street in Sparta, the CIB heritage committee hosted an archaeological scan with local amateur archaeologist, Richard Baskey for the scouting and guiding groups in Central Elgin in 2005.
Pits and Mounds reforestation: on the Easterbrooke property on Centennial Road, the St. Joseph’s Environmental Class and CIB volunteers reforested the property using the unique pits and mounds technique under the leadership of Ron Casier.
Waste Receptacles: in 2004, every community in the municipality was given several unique wooden receptacles to be placed in prominent locations to encourage cleanliness.
Municipal, Volunteer Organization and Commercial Projects
Belmont Wetlands Project: this special use of wetlands to clean sewage treatment sediment is an excellent environmental initiative of Central Elgin.
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority Dodd's Creek Project: this is a special project to clean up the water of Kettle Creek and its tributaries using woodland infilling and bank protection by local landowners.
Catfish Creek Conservation Authority Herb Kebbel Wetland Project: this area to the east of Sparta is creating a natural wetlands filtration system and re-establishing a 200 acre Carolinian vegetation area with signed hiking trails.
St. Thomas Golf and Country Club Audubon Recognition Award the work done to create airflow and to lower pesticide use for natural species along the creek are excellent examples of environmentally friendly use and were recognized by the Audubon Society with a special designation.
Belmont Community Park: The Lions Club in Belmont established a beautiful new park just south of the bridge with a shallow pond, safe for winter skating, memorial trees and paths for walkers.
Barrels and Baskets in Belmont: The Belmont Horticultural Society purchased and planted many barrels on their streets last year. This year they are putting up hanging baskets of annuals.
Scouting Cairn, Sparta: The Sparta Scouting group and the Sparta & District Historical Society saved a special scouting cairn built in 1935 to honour Eli Mann, who hosted scouting camps on his farm. The cairn was on the cliff edge of Lake Erie and threatened by erosion. They saved it by moving it to the community centre in Sparta
These are only a few of the Municipal and Commercial projects. One of the functions of our committee is to identify and encourage all projects in our community which further the goals of Central Elgin-Growing Together
Barrel Planters: over 70 planters were purchased and planted throughout the municipality in 2004. In the spring of 2005, they were planted with spring bulbs by CIB volunteers and later planted with annuals and some perennials. The bulbs were then moved to the established flower beds and the daffodils to the Tall Grass Prairie Demonstration Plot. Some local people have adopted the barrels and keep them filled with greens in the winter as well. CIB would like others to adopt barrels near them as well.
Belmont Parkette: the vacant lot on Belmont Road just north of the HUB was refurbished in 2005 with an expanded flower bed and improved pathway. More will be done on this lot in conjunction with local input as to what the citizens of the Belmont area want. The Belmont Horticultural Society have taken over the maintenance of this area.
Cleanup Days: since the inception of CIB we have held cleanup days in April which have now expanded to include the whole municipality. Different areas do it differently but every where volunteers get out to clean up roadsides and public areas. In Port Stanley all of the streets have been adopted by individuals who keep them clean year round. Some roads are also adopted and we are hoping to get people to adopt others to assist in keeping them clean all year.
Tall Grass Prairie Demonstration Plot: on the SE corner of Sparta Line and Centennial Road, CIB established the demonstration plot to show the types of plants that used to grow in this area (Yarmouth Plains) when the early settlers first came. It was planted by the Environmental Class from St. Joseph’s High School. Last year an educational pamphlet was added as well as infilling and seed collecting.
Heritage Trees: the heritage trees marked throughout Central Elgin were placed on the web in 2005 on the C Map site by Elizabeth Godlie of the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority who was CIB's Forestry sub-chair. Signs to mark the locations of the heritage trees were erected by some trees and more signs will go up each year. Sponsors are needed to assist in this endeavour..
Bridge Planters: desert planters with water reservoirs were purchased and placed on the bridges in Port Stanley and Belmont. Repositioning them and planting with different styles of plants will continue.
Turvey Park in Lynhurst: The St. Joseph's Environmental class planted trees around the naturalized area in this park. Naturalizing more of the area around the pond is an ongoing work as well as adding hiking trails in 2007.
Gateway Sign Project: Sunset Road near Canadale Nursery. An interesting sculpture of wheels from the past and present along with the municipal coat of arms will welcome residents and visitors to Central Elgin. We have also put up several smaller copies of this gateway sign at our other entrances to Central Elgin. In 2012 we will begin adding an exit slogan to the backs of our signs.
Composting Workshops: We held two in 2006 and still have some great composters available. We also set up a compost demonstration site at the new park in Union at the base of the hill in Lawton Park. Contact us if you would like a composter.
Blue Flag Programme: Central Elgin has received Blue Flag Beach status for our main beach in Port Stanley. A committee was set up to evaluate and work on achieving the environmental goals to maintain this international status for Main Beach in Port Stanley. It involves water quality, sand dune maintenance, education and several other components.
Lawton Park: We have established a park at the corner of Sunset Road and Sparta Line with a Carolinian Arboretum and Vine Maze. We had a ground cover quilt but will be changing it in 2012 as our ground covers did not do well on this sandy north slope.
Anniversary Garden: In 2008, volunteers from the three former municipalities planted a garden in three intersecting circles in front of the offices on Sunset drive to celebrate the 10 years Central Elgin has been in existence.
Greening Central Elgin: In 2012 we launched a new project that will allow land owners to receive trees at a reduced rate for reforesting sections smaller than the two conservation areas require. The trees will be ordered through CCCA and KCCA but don't require the 200 tree minimum. Contact Either CCCA or the KCCA to order Carolinian trees for your property to help increase the forest cover in Central Elgin. Free tree planting workshops will also be held for anyone ordering trees.
Other Projects: We will continue to find ways to improve our municipality. If you have suggestions for this volunteer committee or would like to join us lease contact Ron Richards at 519-631-4860 ext. 272.
450 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, ON N5R 5V1