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History of the Omemee Coronation Hall Beautification Project

The Coronation Hall Beautification Project has been the Omemee Horticultural Society’s Communities in Bloom Project from 2005 to 2010. It was also the start of the Omemee Village’s ‘Downtown Revitalization Project’.  It was spearheaded by the Horticultural Society but has involved a partnership with the Omemee Service Groups, the Omemee Business & Community Improvement Association and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

 

Stage One

A sod turning ceremony in June of 2005 started the work on Stage One. Based on a consultation and design by Kathy Pimmett, a long bed was constructed along the back fence, another shorter bed along the library wall and a large arbour structure set off the many plantings of shrubs, clematis, hosta and annuals.  Spring bulbs were added in the fall of 2005. The construction of this stage was done by Emilon Farm & Landscape.

 

Stages Two

In 2006 the City began the revitalization of the inside and outside of the Hall. The remaining money from these budgets was used for the hardscaping for the next two stages of our outside project. Stage Two, began in 2006-7 and involved the front of the hall. Existing old planters were replaced with stonework planters which were highlighted with plantings of shrubs, day lilies, annuals and spring bulbs.

 

Stage Three

In the fall of 2007, the City contracted a facelift for the connecting Cenotaph Area. The beautiful circular stonework, with three new planting areas was completed in the fall of 2007 and the Omemee Legion erected a memorial monument honoring, Harry Brown, the City of Kawartha Lake’s only Victoria Cross Winner. That monument was unveiled at the 2007 Remembrance Day Service.  In the spring of 2008, the Horticultural Society began the planting and beautification of this area. Five new trees, all native to Ontario, were planted to add needed shade and with the added bonus of spring blossoms, summer berries and fall fruits for the birds. The beds were planted with hardy flowering shrubs, day lilies and annuals. The stone work was paid for by the City and the plantings were covered by the Horticultural Society.

 

Added Touches

In 2008, three new iron park benches were installed in front of the hall along the main street, and two unique, hand painted (by member Brigitte Losberg) garbage barrels were set in place in the front and by the picnic table. In 2009 one of the front benches was removed and replaced by a Visitor’s Guide. That bench was stored to be used later in the back garden. The original two old wooden benches, which had been temporarily used in the back garden until we could purchase new iron ones, were beautifully refinished by member Ron Muscutt.

In 2010, the final touches were added to the Coronation Hall gardens. We added a new wooden garbage storage container, and a tall wooden trellis. (matching the big arbor at the west end of the north garden) This trellis effectively hides the array of pipes and wires along the wall south of that back door.  An iron bench was put in front of the arbor and the City installed the previously stored iron bench under the apple tree. Two matching garbage containers were also placed on cement pads –one beside the picnic table and the other at the front of the hall. The wooden garbage bin and the trellis structure, were paid for with the beautification money give to us from the CHEST fund. The other park furniture was provided by the City. The two wooden benches, which had been refinished by Ron Muscutt and were to be used in our 2011 Communities in Bloom Beautification project behind the Legion.

 

 Summary

All of the beds contain plants, which once established, require a minimum of water and maintenance and provide year round colour. Soaker hoses were added for times of extreme drought, and all the beds were mulched for weed prevention and water retention. Plants, native to our area were used whenever possible. The plant funding was done through the City’s 50/50 Partnership Grant Program with half paid by the Horticultural Society. The initial shrubs were subsidized by a generous grant from the Peterborough Horticultural Society. Thousands of hours of volunteer labour has gone into the planting and maintenance of this area over the years. The Omemee Community is proud of the overall result of this project and the Horticultural Society now intends to extend this beautification effort to other parts of the Village.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.omemeeblooms.ca/gardens/village-gardens/coronation-hall/history-of-the-omemee-coronation-hall-beautification-project/