Get involved instead of criticizing

"It never ceases to amaze me that some small-minded people criticize the actions of volunteers..."

It never ceases to amaze me that some small-minded people criticize the actions of volunteers who try to make the town they share into a more enjoyable, liveable place to buy a home, run a business, shop, visit or just drive through.

I refer to a letter in Tuesday’s paper, written by a Mr. Don Ball (Trail Times, July 23)

Yes, we will always disagree on how to spend public money. Health care, education, special needs services, Welfare, roads; the list is endless. Can you imagine what a bleak world this would be if we didn’t allocate a small portion of public funds for flowers to brighten  dull street or grass for children to play?

As for the new Glover Hill Park: those of us who live up here have been greeted by that weed mound at the top of the hill for decades. Seeing how Sunningdale, Tadanac, and Shaver’s Bench have nice entryways,  why shouldn’t West Trail?

I’d like to inform Mr. Ball, that more than half the cost of our little “park” was donated by West Trail residents. Labour (to dig it up and plant) was provided by volunteers. Even some of the plants were donated. We hadn’t intended to use white rock, but due to line-of-sight for the roadway and corner, we couldn’t put the bushy plants there we wanted.  Leaving weeds looked pretty awful so we covered them with landscape fabric and rock. And yes, we recognize that edging is required and it will be done. That “pricey white rock” was donated by Teck several years ago for Community in Bloom projects.

The interpretive signage was produced by the Trail Historical Society (as per other Trail neighbourhoods) and the memorial bench will be paid for by donated funds.

Yes, I suppose it is a pathetic excuse for a “park.” But it was what we could afford. If Mr. Ball has a better idea of how to make West Trail more attractive, we’d love to hear it.

As a matter of fact, we invite Mr. Ball to come to a CiB meeting – or any other meeting that furthers the development, esthetics or economics of Trail for that matter. Or perhaps he already gives his time to the LCCDT, the DOAC, Trail Chamber, United Way, Salvation Army, Sanctuary, or one of the dozens of service clubs we have in Trail.

Or maybe I’ve missed Mr. Ball’s name on the Trail Historical Society, the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society, the Hospital Foundation or Auxiliary, or the LeRoi Foundation.

And if Mr. Ball is physically or financially unable to participate, I’m sure any committee would welcome him if all he had to offer was his wisdom.

I cannot say all us CiB volunteers have given any more time to Community in Bloom than the hundreds of people who run all those organizations above mentioned.

But if the majority of tax-paying citizens in our town feel  Community in Bloom is a waste of money, then I suggest they approach City Council and tell them to stop funding it; and those of us dedicated to a better Trail will surely find something else to do to boost our “self-important egos.”

Again, please note that Community in Bloom runs on volunteers. Funding allocated to CiB is mostly money the city would be using anyway – on street cleanups, on parks, on graffiti removal and other initiatives to brighten  our town.

If the city installed proper irrigation (like Castlegar and Rossland has) we could put our baskets and pots out sooner and eliminate costly watering by hand.

We love to hear ideas on how to make the town better and would welcome all input.

We will post the next meeting of CiB in the newspaper in the fall and look forward to some new blood.

Lana RodlieTrail