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From the Mayor's Desk - Issue #6

History repeats itself, they say, and it appears “they” are correct. Today I’m feeling a bit of déjà vu, my excitement building as we get closer to the return of the ferry in May.

Company's Coming: Time to Clean Up

We’ve been here before, with years between sailings, readying ourselves for the visitors that will come to our doorstep. My excitement is steeped in my appreciation and belief in this community. When it comes to welcoming folks to our shores and showing off our beautiful community, no one does it better. A pat on the back to each of you, Yarmouth’s very best ambassadors!

Eight years ago, this community rallied around the “All Hands On Deck” initiative that saw over 1000 people sign up in response to the question, “What will you as an individual, business or organization do to move your community forward?” Everything from weeding gardens to picking up litter, painting old buildings to customer service classes, the list was long and the jobs were tackled by folks wearing big smiles, encouraging each other, and with the most important ingredient of all: positive attitudes. It was a beautiful sight to behold. The vast majority of the ideas from the All Hands On Deck initiative are still alive today, with folks continuing to do all they can to lovingly add sparkle to our community.

So my question and challenge is, once again, what will you as an individual, business or organization, do to move your community forward? The possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas that may help spark your interest and action:

Adopt-A-Block begins on April 22nd and runs until May 6th. But who says we have to stop when the program is done? With the return of the ferry mid-May, there is no better time to grab a friend, a garbage bag and some gloves and head out to clean up a yard, a sidewalk, a block, a park. Winter always leaves us with extra litter, and it won’t pick itself up, so it’s important we each do what we can to rid our beautiful community of winter’s mess. We do it for our own pride of community, but also for visitors who love nothing better than a spotlessly clean place to visit. Make it a family outing – how great is it to teach our children respect for community and work ethic at the same time? Teachers, make it a class project and challenge other classes to do the same. Businesses? Why not give employees a 30-minute break one weekday to do a cleanup? Seniors, gather your friends and head out with your litter-gathering tools to make a difference.

Who’s in?

If you want to add some colour to the community, it’s official: 2022 has been proclaimed the Year of the Garden. Our Communities in Bloom (CiB) team and Town Park staff have been busy preparing to showcase the Town and to celebrate the Year of the Garden, and CiB is initiating a program entitled, “Step It Up Yarmouth”. This fun, engaging, yet simple initiative encourages all residents, businesses and organizations to put a planter of flowers/herbs/vegetables on their front steps. CiB Chair Councillor Heather Hatfield tells us, “Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. We aren’t all able to have a large garden but a planter on your front step is still considered a garden. Let’s make Yarmouth a place of beauty!” Well said Councillor, and we know folks will “Step Up” to this challenge! Imagine a potted garden on every single set of steps. Wow, the impact! Oh, and the CiB team will have “Step It Up Yarmouth" pot markers available to add to your planters – BONUS.

Waste Check is always initiating and/or supporting cleanups. In addition to the Adopt-a-Block program, the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up initiative launched April 11. Waste Check provides bags and gloves, and even have safety vests and trash pickers to lend you should you require them. You can register for either initiative by calling 902-742-1312. There’s also an online registration for the Pick-Me-Up program at www.nspickmeup.ca. Earth Day is April 22 and runs until May 6 – a great push to get out there and clean up. Also in support of Earth Day was the TrashStock event held on April 23 and 24 with educational presentations, prizes, scavenger hunt and more. 

So you see, there are endless ways to ready ourselves for our visitors, and it’s important we take advantage of them all, each doing our part. Tourism is second only to our fishery when it comes to economics, and it’s important our best foot is put forward. Feel free to drop me a note to let me know what YOU are doing. I love hearing the stories, and I know the bright smiles and positive attitudes of our locals will shine a bright light on our amazing community and have visitors wanting to come back for more!

From the Mayor’s Desk is a regular column from Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood that serves to inform residents and celebrate community.