Horticulture Committee Report
The Rhododendron Burnaby's Official Flower
Mrs. E. M. Lawson, Chairman, Horticulture Committee
On August 22, 1968, the Burnaby Municipal Council, on the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission, adopted the Rhododendron as the official flower of Burnaby. The Parks and Recreation Commissions' horticultural theme, adopted earlier in the year, was the Rhododendron genus in combination with native trees. It was hoped that many citizens of Burnaby would adopt the rhododendron as the theme plant for their home gardens and help to transform Burnaby into one of the horticultural show places of Canada.
Burnaby Rhododendron Competition The Parks and Recreation Commission is holding a competition for a new variety of rhododendron to he named 'Burnaby'. Growers in British Columbia are invited to participate and judging will he done in accordance with the 'Standard Rules of Judging' as laid clown by the Royal Horticultural Society. Final selection of the winning plant will be made in 1973, unless a later date is deemed desirable by the judges. The developers of plants which qualify for 'Certificate of Merit Awards' will receive cash consolation prizes and the developer of the winning variety will be awarded a cash prize of $500.00.
Burnaby Parks and Recreation Commission Centennial Project. The Commission deckled to celebrate our Canadian Centennial year in horticultural style by choosing a project of landscaping and planting some 500 rhododendrons along Centennial Way, the road leading to the top of 'Burnaby Mountain. Further support for our Official Flower was given in the form of a float with a rhododendron theme to he used in local parades and a horticultural display in the Pacific National Exhibition.
Burnaby's Centennial Project. The Burnaby Centennial Committee's project was the development of ail eight acre portion of a newly acquired park site adjoining Deer Lake which incorporates existing buildings of a theatre - hall - meeting rooms centre at the eastern boundary of the project and an old home, the 'Ceperley Mansion', which was converted to an Art Gallery, at the western and elevated boundary. Between the two buildings is an extensive garden and pathway area which includes some 2,000 rhododendrons which are planted in colour groupings. The project has been named 'Century Gardens'.
Good Neighbour Policy. Central Park, located in Burnaby, just inside our western boundary, is administered jointly by the Municipality of Burnaby and the City of Vancouver. In recognition of our official flower, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Public Recreation have made extensive rhododendron plantings in a portion of this 220 acre park.
On the Band Wagon. The Burnaby Library Board has begun what is proposed to be an extensive collection of rhododendron books.
Joint Venture. In May of this year, the Burnaby Centennial Rhododendron and Spring Flower Show was held under the joint sponsorship of the Vancouver Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and the Centennial Beautification Committee. This four day show was held in the Burnaby Municipal Rink. It proved such a success that the committee is in the process of becoming a society in order to hold annual shows. Burnaby organizations, such as the Burnaby South Garden Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, St. John Ambulance, and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as many local nurserymen, gave much time and effort and added a community flavor to the show. Massive displays were exhibited by the nurseries in Burnaby, the B. C. Nursery Trades Association, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Public Recreation and the Burnaby Parks and Recreation Commission. Smaller exhibits by our local garden clubs, the Library Board and commercial exhibitors as well as displays of garden sculpture and paintings, a fashion show twice daily, and a colored photography contest sponsored by local merchants added considerable interest to the show. Rhododendron plants were awarded to each one hundredth patron, including people visiting from the provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario which are 1,500 and 2,500 miles away and from the City of Glasgow, Scotland. The displays evolved around the annual show of the Vancouver Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The members of this society are to he commended for the effort and enthusiasm which contributed greatly to the success of the show.
Goal. The true measure of success in our campaign is the gradual acceptance and support given by Burnaby citizens towards the Official Flower. Local clubs and organizations are making numerous presentations of rhododendrons to honored guests, and gifts of plants to school, etc. Additional planting have been made in a shopping centre, on government property and by commercial and industrial firms. The ultimate goal, with citizen support, is to make Burnaby the rhododendron showplace of Canada.
Note: The above report, made Nov. 15, 1967, to the Burnaby Parks and Recreation Commission, contains so many ideas that could be used in other cities that it is presented here in full. - Ed.