Courtenay Adapting Mile of Flowers for 2021

April 14, 2021

Cliffe Avenue will be blooming once again this summer. Following a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Courtenay Council has approved a modified version of the seasonal floral display for 2021. Rather than the usual volunteer plant-in and associated events, the flowers will be planted by City Parks staff over a period of several days.

“Last year, the loss of the Mile of Flowers was just one of countless negative impacts to our community due to the pandemic,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “The plant-in typically attracts hundreds of volunteers, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to run our usual big event. We’re pleased that staff have found a workaround that will allow this tradition to continue this year. We hope the flowers are a sign of hope for better days ahead.”

Thousands of annual flowers and a selection of perennials will be planted by City of Courtenay Parks staff over several days in late May, supplemented by bulbs that were planted last fall. Planting will occur in the early morning hours to avoid impacts to commuters, and will follow WorkSafeBC regulations and Public Health guidelines to keep staff and the general public safe.

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.

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