Rites (and delights) of spring

By: Deanne Crothers, MLA for St. James

As published in The Metro

June 19, 2013

St. James MLA Deanne Crothers’ office has taken up Winnipeg Harvest’s Grow-A-Row Challenge. Kneeling in front: David Northcott, Executive Director of Winnipeg Harvest; Barry Rempel, President & CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. Back Centre (in green): Ron O’Donovan, Founder of Grow-A-Row, surrounded by WAA and 7-Eleven staff, and MLA Deanne Crothers.

At last! The warmth of spring and the promise of summer! This year my office has taken up the Winnipeg Harvest Grow-A-Row Challenge.

We will be growing beets and carrots in blue boxes, and come harvest time the fresh produce will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest. I encourage you to check the program out at winnipegharvest.org/grow-a-row-project for more information.

At home I have finished my planting and have had far more weeding to do than I expected. Such is the rite of spring! We look at our surroundings with a fresh perspective and discover that there is work to be done.

This includes our communities. Many projects that are large in scale are frequently restricted to the warm months for practical construction purposes. Take the Old St. James Anglican Church for example. This beautiful Provincial Heritage Site structure has been cared for by volunteers who have done a wonderful job of maintaining its integrity and history.

However, a project as large as a roof replacement requires a partner to assist this small, dedicated group. I am delighted that the church will be receiving a Community Places Program grant from the Provincial Government so that they can preserve the building and ensure that this gem is around for many years to come.

The St. James Rods Football Club is also receiving a grant from the Community Places Program. The work that the Rods executive board and its many volunteers have done over the years shows an immense personal investment from both the behind-the-scenes folks and the families who use the facility. Year by year they have actively improved their building and the grounds to provide a better experience for players, their families, and the surrounding community. This year is no exception. With the help of the province, they will be installing an irrigation system for the fields, new flooring in parts of the clubhouse, and an exhaust system in the kids’ change rooms.

I recently completed the 4th annual "Walk to Fight Arthritis" event with my family at Assiniboine Park. We soaked up the fresh outdoors and revelled in the pleasure of making time to take time outdoors.

Whether spending your time this summer in local structures such as your church or community centre, participating in neighbourhood sport programs or enjoying your own backyard, I hope you will be able to experience the satisfaction of renewal through effort. At the end of the day, this is something that we all do together.