Dundas 'Rock Stars' take on additional gardens

News Nov 17, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Volunteer 'Rock Stars' are taking on new responsibilities beautifying and maintaining Dundas Driving Park gardens.

The group started in the summer of 2015, resurrecting an overgrown 120-metre long,  85-year-old rock garden along the west side of the park. Their dedicated volunteer effort hasn't gone unnoticed, with several people stopping to thank them for their work — and even pass along coffee, donuts or chocolates.

In June, the Driving Park's refurbished west rock garden was highlighted on a bus tour for members of the American Public Gardens Association in Hamilton for their annual conference. It has also been part of a Carnegie Gallery garden tour.

This year, a parks summer student started some weeding and clearing work in a smaller, but particularly creative tiered rock garden on the other side of the park, next to the open cove area.

The east rock garden work caught the eye of Rock Stars volunteer Ann Barnett, who offered her help and continued the student's work when she finished her term. Other group members started helping out too. Some plants from the west rock garden — built in 1932 — went to the east rock garden, originally built a few months later using leftover rock by local florist W.H. Gray.

"It's contagious," Rock Stars chairwoman Kathy Steel said of the growing interest in fixing up the additional garden space.

But as more volunteers started helping, they found the nearest water source wasn't very convenient and asked city councillor Arlene VanderBeek for a hand.

Last week, VanderBeek introduced a notice of motion at Hamilton's public works committee calling for up to $5,500 from Dundas cell tower rental revenues fund to pay for installation of irrigation at the east rock garden.

Since the Rock Stars formed in 2015, it has grown from seven core members to nine with a number of casual members helping from time to time. The group is always looking for new gardening volunteers. With both the west and east rock gardens to manage, help is needed more than ever.

"They don't need expertise or big amounts of time," said Annabelle White. "An hour of weeding is a help. It's very rewarding."

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the group through councillor VanderBeek.

They've been getting plants from the city's Gage Park greenhouse and plenty of support from local parks staff as well as horticulture and forestry workers.

"They're very excited with the fact it's volunteers," Steel said.

While each volunteer takes responsibility for their own section of garden, and Barnett will take the lead on the east garden, they all help each other. Neufeld is excited about the opportunity in the newly added area.

"The (west) garden is beautiful, it's in the sun. This one is in the shade — kind of cozy and meditative. More contemplative," Neufeld said.

The tiered garden features paths and three rock benches.

Dundas 'Rock Stars' take on additional gardens

Successful volunteers add Driving Park's east rock garden to ongoing work on west side

News Nov 17, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Volunteer 'Rock Stars' are taking on new responsibilities beautifying and maintaining Dundas Driving Park gardens.

The group started in the summer of 2015, resurrecting an overgrown 120-metre long,  85-year-old rock garden along the west side of the park. Their dedicated volunteer effort hasn't gone unnoticed, with several people stopping to thank them for their work — and even pass along coffee, donuts or chocolates.

In June, the Driving Park's refurbished west rock garden was highlighted on a bus tour for members of the American Public Gardens Association in Hamilton for their annual conference. It has also been part of a Carnegie Gallery garden tour.

This year, a parks summer student started some weeding and clearing work in a smaller, but particularly creative tiered rock garden on the other side of the park, next to the open cove area.

The east rock garden work caught the eye of Rock Stars volunteer Ann Barnett, who offered her help and continued the student's work when she finished her term. Other group members started helping out too. Some plants from the west rock garden — built in 1932 — went to the east rock garden, originally built a few months later using leftover rock by local florist W.H. Gray.

"It's contagious," Rock Stars chairwoman Kathy Steel said of the growing interest in fixing up the additional garden space.

But as more volunteers started helping, they found the nearest water source wasn't very convenient and asked city councillor Arlene VanderBeek for a hand.

Last week, VanderBeek introduced a notice of motion at Hamilton's public works committee calling for up to $5,500 from Dundas cell tower rental revenues fund to pay for installation of irrigation at the east rock garden.

Since the Rock Stars formed in 2015, it has grown from seven core members to nine with a number of casual members helping from time to time. The group is always looking for new gardening volunteers. With both the west and east rock gardens to manage, help is needed more than ever.

"They don't need expertise or big amounts of time," said Annabelle White. "An hour of weeding is a help. It's very rewarding."

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the group through councillor VanderBeek.

They've been getting plants from the city's Gage Park greenhouse and plenty of support from local parks staff as well as horticulture and forestry workers.

"They're very excited with the fact it's volunteers," Steel said.

While each volunteer takes responsibility for their own section of garden, and Barnett will take the lead on the east garden, they all help each other. Neufeld is excited about the opportunity in the newly added area.

"The (west) garden is beautiful, it's in the sun. This one is in the shade — kind of cozy and meditative. More contemplative," Neufeld said.

The tiered garden features paths and three rock benches.

Dundas 'Rock Stars' take on additional gardens

Successful volunteers add Driving Park's east rock garden to ongoing work on west side

News Nov 17, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Volunteer 'Rock Stars' are taking on new responsibilities beautifying and maintaining Dundas Driving Park gardens.

The group started in the summer of 2015, resurrecting an overgrown 120-metre long,  85-year-old rock garden along the west side of the park. Their dedicated volunteer effort hasn't gone unnoticed, with several people stopping to thank them for their work — and even pass along coffee, donuts or chocolates.

In June, the Driving Park's refurbished west rock garden was highlighted on a bus tour for members of the American Public Gardens Association in Hamilton for their annual conference. It has also been part of a Carnegie Gallery garden tour.

This year, a parks summer student started some weeding and clearing work in a smaller, but particularly creative tiered rock garden on the other side of the park, next to the open cove area.

The east rock garden work caught the eye of Rock Stars volunteer Ann Barnett, who offered her help and continued the student's work when she finished her term. Other group members started helping out too. Some plants from the west rock garden — built in 1932 — went to the east rock garden, originally built a few months later using leftover rock by local florist W.H. Gray.

"It's contagious," Rock Stars chairwoman Kathy Steel said of the growing interest in fixing up the additional garden space.

But as more volunteers started helping, they found the nearest water source wasn't very convenient and asked city councillor Arlene VanderBeek for a hand.

Last week, VanderBeek introduced a notice of motion at Hamilton's public works committee calling for up to $5,500 from Dundas cell tower rental revenues fund to pay for installation of irrigation at the east rock garden.

Since the Rock Stars formed in 2015, it has grown from seven core members to nine with a number of casual members helping from time to time. The group is always looking for new gardening volunteers. With both the west and east rock gardens to manage, help is needed more than ever.

"They don't need expertise or big amounts of time," said Annabelle White. "An hour of weeding is a help. It's very rewarding."

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the group through councillor VanderBeek.

They've been getting plants from the city's Gage Park greenhouse and plenty of support from local parks staff as well as horticulture and forestry workers.

"They're very excited with the fact it's volunteers," Steel said.

While each volunteer takes responsibility for their own section of garden, and Barnett will take the lead on the east garden, they all help each other. Neufeld is excited about the opportunity in the newly added area.

"The (west) garden is beautiful, it's in the sun. This one is in the shade — kind of cozy and meditative. More contemplative," Neufeld said.

The tiered garden features paths and three rock benches.