Mile of Flowers Plant-In

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
starting at 5:00 p.m.

Volunteers needed for community planting event

Come out and join the biggest planting event in Courtenay! The Mile of Flowers is marking 55 years of filling Cliffe Avenue boulevards with colourful blooms on Tuesday, May 31.

The Plant-in starts at 5 p.m. and goes until around 7 p.m. Volunteers from the community are invited to fill the garden beds on both sides of Cliffe Avenue from 8th to 21st Streets with summer flowers provided by the City of Courtenay.

No prior experience is required – just pick an open spot, and start planting. Participants are asked to bring garden gloves and a trowel or spoon for digging. 

Typically, between 200 and 500 volunteers are needed. Youth groups are encouraged to take part and all youth groups attending will be entered in a random draw to win a one hour pool party at the outdoor pool in Lewis Park.

Mayor Bob Wells said it’s good to have Mile of Flowers back. “It will be fabulous to see community members and organizations out planting together for this event once again,” noted Wells. “In 2020 the event was cancelled and in 2021 it was planted by staff so having a return to the community plant-in will be special. 2022 is also International Year of the Garden, and we hope the Mile of Flowers will be inspirational as we celebrate the vital impacts gardens have on our lives.”

While the community planting event is returning, the traditional community barbeque will not take place this year. The City is hopeful for its return in 2023.  

The City of Courtenay sends heartfelt thanks to all the community volunteers, clubs and organizations who have helped beautify our community for so many years.

For more information, please contact City of Courtenay at 250-334-4441 or email info@courtenay.ca 

 

History

The Mile of Flowers is a Comox Valley tradition dating back to 1967, when Kathleen Kirk set out to commemorate Canada’s centennial year. That year she planted 7,800 seedlings as a welcome to tourists. From those beginnings launched an annual effort to plant tens of thousands of flowers in garden beds along Courtenay’s main thoroughfare.

In a typical year, hundreds of volunteers of all ages fill the garden beds on both sides of Cliffe Avenue with summer flowers provided by the City of Courtenay. Typically, between 200 and 500 volunteers are needed.

The Mile of Flowers was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maintenance and watering

Did you know that aside from looking great year after year, the Mile of Flowers has also made great strides in reducing water use? A lot less – new methods are saving approximately 600,000 gallons of water per year. This is roughly equivalent to an Olympic size swimming pool! Management strategies such as compost, mulch and new soil have greatly improved water retention. A number of flower beds have also been converted to water-efficient drip-irrigation, with some beds converted to water-efficient perennial blooms and shrubs.