Launch of 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail
LYN – The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is launching the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail, a regional tourism initiative that will link together nine gardens throughout the Counties for a season-long event, a first for Eastern Ontario.
The nine gardens have been chosen to create an enjoyable route of garden destinations for residents of Leeds Grenville, their guests and visitors to the region. “The gardens are beautiful, unique, well designed, educational and leave visitors wanting more”, says Dave Cybulski, Co-Chair of the Garden Trail .
Gardens are considered to be either key motivators for travelling, or are enhancements for a destination. Visitors typically go for a meal afterwards or do some shopping. People inquire about plants they’ve seen and where they can be purchased. People want to learn, to experience new things. It connects visitors to the people and culture of their destination.
In April 2013, Brockville Tourism hosted an information session at the 1000 Islands Mall which brought together representatives from local and regional gardens and garden centres as well as organizations and supporters to discuss how to move Garden Tourism forward within Leeds Grenville. Feedback was collected and a steering committee formed to move forward two goals: develop a new one-day event in Brockville and Area and to realize a season-long regional Garden Trail.
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office agreed to lead the development of the regional Garden Trail. An adhoc committee was formed consisting of Dave Cybulski of Maitland Garden of Hope, Mary Ann Berlo of Van Berlo Gardens, Dave Dunn of Rideau Woodland Ramble and Penny Stewart of the Ontario Horticulture Association – District 3. Together they established a criterion for garden selection and conducted garden visits throughout the region.
A mix of private, public and garden centre displays have been chosen to be the inaugural Garden Trail. These include:
- Machal Gardens, Spencerville
- Healing Circle Labyrinth, Johnstown
- Shakespearean Gardens, Prescott
- Van Berlo Gardens, Maitland
- Maitland Garden of Hope, Maitland
- Garden of Hope and Faith Walk, Lyn
- Chillane Gardens, Mallorytown
- Gardens of Gananoque, Gananoque
- Rideau Woodland Ramble*, North Grenville
* Canadian Garden Council 2015 Destination Garden Centre of the Year.
Gardens along the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail start opening mid-May, and will feature many unique flowers and experiences through September. Discover native butterflies, honeybees and birds; a monarch Way Station, fountains, ponds, a Zen garden, contemporary art exhibits and statues. Guided or self-guided tours are available, and hours vary per site. The Trail will officially open on Friday, June 19th.
The undertaking of the Garden Trail has come to fruition through leadership and partnerships. Partners include the nine host sites, Brockville Tourism and the Great Waterway Regional Organization along with sponsorship from Henderson Printing. The Counties GIS department has also contributed by creating a new online story map that can be viewed at www.GardenTrail.1000islandsandrideaucanal.com. Brochures will be available at participating sites and various tourism centres throughout the region.
“The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail is a great example of a team that is working together to achieve more”, says David Gordon, Warden, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
32 Wall Street, Suite 300 Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 ext. 5365 Ann.Weir@uclg.on.ca
Maitland Garden of Hope
1 Jones Street, Maitland, ON
Media Invitation - 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail Please enjoy a guided tour of each garden participating in the inaugural 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail. Speak with the owners about designing their gardens, their vision, and learn about a wide variety of flowers as you see for yourself just how pretty Leeds Grenville is.
All nine garden sites will host their own media day; please call ahead to RSVP.
Tuesdays, beginning June 2 - between 10 am and 2 pm (two sites the first week)
June 2 Chillane Gardens
HOSTS: Laurie Wight / Edward Wight
10 Junetown Road, Mallorytown, ON K0E 1R0
June 9 Rideau Woodland Ramble
HOSTS: David Dunn / Robert Caron
7210 Burritts Rapids Road, County Road 23
North Grenville, ON K0G 1N0
June 16 Gardens of Gananoque – 2 parks
HOSTS: Sue Smith, Manager Parks & Recreation;
Joan MacKinnon / Penny Stewart, Gananoque Horticultural Society
2 King Street East / Main Street, Gananoque, ON
T: 613-382-2149 ext. 1411 or 613-546-6093
E: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
July 7 Machal Gardens
HOSTS: Doug Hall / Gordon MacDonald
6 South Street, Spencerville, ON