North Grenville council has approved a new policy for commemorative trees, benches, and bike racks in the municipality. Director of Parks and Recreation, Mark Guy, told council that this policy has been in the works for several years, dating back to the previous Active Transportation Committee of council. According to his report, the need for a policy to govern commemorative trees, benches, bike racks, picnic tables, and shade structures has been evident for years, and the need is only increasing with more and more interest from residents and community groups to have these items installed in neighbourhoods and parks across the municipality.
Any community member or organization who wants to get involved with the program will have to pay 50% of the cost for the municipality to acquire the item. This will include the installation of a commemorative plaque, and the item will be placed on public property, to be maintained by the municipality. Staff have settled on a percentage of the cost, as prices for each item may vary over the years.
Director Guy says that, while they are willing to work with the public when considering the types of benches and bike racks that are installed, their preference is that they don’t have a multitude of different styles in the parks across the municipality. “The idea is to try and limit that as much as we can, but I believe we can certainly offer more than one type of park bench that might be more suitable, or might be more interesting, for a particular community group to participate in,” he said. Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan suggested they look into investing in a unique North Grenville bike rack to help with community branding. “That’s something we can look at,” Director Guy told her.
The Municipality will be creating an application form to participate in the
program and, although submissions can be made at any time of year, Director Guy noted that tree planting and installations are typically done in the warmer months.
The 2021 budget for commemorative trees and other items is $10,000. “Once our portion of the 50% is spent, then that would be it for a particular year until the next budget year comes through,” Director Guy said.!
Mayor Peckford believes that the new policy will be well embraced by the community. “There’s certainly a want to seize the occasion,” she said. “So great to have the policy so people that can channel their energies and their resources wisely.”