Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oldman Rose Society asks Town of Pincher Creek for a lease extension

Lebel Mansion Rose Garden
Justine Jorgensen 2014 file photo

Toni Lucas - A delegation from the Oldman Rose Society of Southern Alberta (ORSSA) appeared before Pincher Creek's Town Council on Tuesday evening, May 24.  Jan Frith acted as the ORSSA spokeswoman and was accompanied by Society President Kay Weir and Executive Board Member Donna Cisar.  The seven year lease which was granted to ORSSA by the Town of Pincher Creek for the area east of the Lebel Mansion, for their rose garden, comes up for renewal this year, and Frith asked if it is possible to sign another seven year lease.  She also said the volunteers for the rose garden project "Have been amazing."  Other items discussed were an upcoming brochure explaining the different roses in the beds, and deer that dine at the garden.

Over the last seven years the plot of land has gone from a lawn, through design, construction, planting, to the finished site. Gardens are never quite finished and the society would like to continue to care for the area. Frith said, "It's remarkable, I love it and I'm just hoping you have looked at it in its full bloom."  She said she feels others appreciate the work being done, and the garden is getting many visitors.  "Communities in Bloom (CIB) has relied quite heavily on us for their success, I think, in previous years, and I can't help but think we were part of the success in the competition." Pincher Creek won the 2015 CIB Class of Champions (Small) category, which included a special mention for the rose garden. "There is another competition coming up now, the Internationals.  So we want to make sure it's really in good shape.  So we would like to apply for another seven years extension of the lease."

Mayor Don Anderberg said he appreciates the rose garden, and leases come through the pertinent departments automatically.  Leases have become standardized to a five year lease and will be reviewed when it comes due.

Frith said the society's brochure is in the process of being made and the plan is to have it available to those who visit the Lebel Mansion.  Mayor Anderberg suggested that the brochure be carried in more areas than just in the Lebel Mansion and suggested the society work with town staff in this regard.

A thorny dilemma for the rose gardeners is the many deer who dine on the garden.  The ORSSA group uses two different deer deterrents with some success.  However they remain concerned and asked to know the results about the deer survey undertaken by the Town of Pincher Creek.  The Mayor Anderberg said, "There are logistical issues around that. The biggest logistical issue is Fish and Wildlife, Alberta Fish and Game." Anderberg added that the rules regarding deer are strict, and include restrictions on scaring them.  "The jury is still out on this one, it's a difficult thing to do."

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