The Omemee Royal Canadian Legion Memorial Garden Project 2011

       Wishes can come true! In the summer of 2010 one of our Horticultural members was observing a horse shoe game behind the Omemee Legion and remarked “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a bench for people to sit on?” and “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tree to provide some shade?.” Two wooden benches in need of repair soon became available and were stored away for the winter.
        2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the City of Kawartha Lakes participation in the Communities in Bloom program where the City has consistently won 5 Blooms in the National competition. To mark this milestone all the participating towns and villages including Omemee were presented with a $2000.00 cheque for a beautification project.

Knowing that the Community in Bloom judges would be arriving in July there was no time to waste.

         The garden committee knew immediately what to do with this special grant money and plans to establish a Memorial garden behind the Legion Hall to honour two young soldiers from our area who were killed in action in Afghanistan in December of 2008 quickly escalated.

         As the committee sought out materials for the project, there was overwhelming support from the businesses and individuals who were contacted.

          The garden site was cleared, the 9 foot limestone slab was installed on which to mount the Memorial Plaque and stone bases for the benches were also added. Gravel, topsoil and mulch were donated.

           An historical element was included with the use of the refurbished striking black wrought iron maple leaf panels which were formerly part of the bridge on the main street as well the two benches which were lovingly refinished by two of our members.

           With the addition of a Native Ironwood tree, spruce shrubs, perennials and red geraniums also purchased at reduced prices the project was completed providing a beautiful place for people to sit, rest and reflect.

           The Garden Committee chairpersons Joanne Windrem and Aron Muscutt were pleased to participate in the Service of Remembrance and Dedication where the monument honouring Cpl. Mark McLaren MMV (age 23) and Pte. Michael Freeman (age 28) was unveiled. Parents and family members of the fallen soldiers, Mayor McGee, Councillor McGregor, members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 497, Omemee and District Horticultural Society and community members attended the emotional service on Sunday, September 25, 2011.

           The garden is located in the village of Omemee on Mary Street West off of Highway 7, behind the RC Legion Branch 497. With a plan, a little money, some donations as well as perseverance and hard work wishes do come true!


On October 29, 2011 at the National Symposium for the Communities in Bloom held in Quebec City, the City of Kawartha Lakes again won 5 Blooms and we were also honoured with the special criteria award, Scott’s Best Community of Gardeners for the third time in ten years. Over 100 plus municipalities from around the world compete for this Award and it is especially dedicated to the efforts of the Volunteers.



Submitted by Heather Grassie

President of the Omemee and District Horticultural Society.

Printed in the  OHA Trillium Newsletter Winter edition, 2011

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