Tales from Niagara: Painting the town green

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Tales from Niagara is a blog series focused on the people and places that make Niagara’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on Niagara farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in Niagara's Greenbelt. 

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Despite the looming clouds, the Town of Pelham got a little bit brighter on Friday afternoon. I was on hand to participate in the Town of Pelham’s Paint the Pavement event, an event that the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation's Niagara region office helped organize. In recent years, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has been running a program in elementary schools throughout the Greenbelt that allows students to paint a Greenbelt-themed mural in their school under the instruction of art instructor Katherine Laco.

When our office in Niagara pitched this idea to the Town of Pelham, they jumped on the opportunity and suggested students paint an intersection in Ridgeville. Not only would it help add colour to an already delightful area, but it would assist in slowing traffic at a busy intersection.

With an almost certain forecast of rain for Friday, the event was initially going to be postponed, but the forecast changed, giving everyone involved a chance to get a start on the street mural. A lot of credit goes out to the Town of Pelham’s public works employees for doing a fantastic job of quickly, and safely, closing off the streets leading to the intersection.

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Town of Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn dropped by the event!

As the afternoon arrived, so did the students from the day camp. Katherine had already outlined the edges of the mural - hills and rocks as an acknowledgement of the hilly terrain of Pelham and the Fonthill Kame – and had the paint ready to go for the kids.

It didn’t take long for news of the event to spread, as more kids and their parents began arriving. About 50 people, including Mayor Dave Augustyn, came out to participate in painting a part of their community. Live music from Taylor Wallace provided a background soundtrack for the event. Delicious baked goods with local strawberries were provided by the wonderful owners of Nature’s Corner.

The event was an excellent opportunity to speak with local residents and teach them and their children about the importance of Ontario’s Greenbelt, and how it provides fresh food, clean air and water, and recreational opportunities for all of us.

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Speaking of water… there was lots of it falling from the sky once the rain clouds blew in. Thankfully the paint was dry enough to hold up to the downpour.

We'll be painting the rest of the Pelham Mural on July 8th. Stay tuned for updates on how you and your child can participate in the next one.

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CODY PYTLAK 
--Communications Assistant, Niagara Region

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