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There is a not-so-magic formula garden tucked away at the rear of the apartment constructing at 1 Washington Crescent in Elliot Lake.
The Washington Seniors’ Garden is maintained by volunteers who are living in any Elliot Lake Retirement Living (ELRL) apartment structures.
The backyard was founded in 1991 and dedicated by Alexandra Farkouh. The backyard has about 30 plots, says Jim Preston, a resident of 1 Washington and a volunteer at the yard.
The 10-foot-by-10-foot plots are cared for by inhabitants of different ELRL condominium properties, states Preston.
“So, no subject exactly where you are in Elliot Lake, as lengthy as you’re a tenant of theirs you can get a plot.”
Most of the tenants have vegetable gardens, but a couple sustain a flower backyard, he claims.
“A ton of the veggies get donated back again to the men and women in the properties that will need them.
“We experienced a person male who distributed to 57 men and women just one calendar year.”
Preston says, he like other folks, offers carrots, lettuce and other vegetables to individuals in the developing.
He has maintained a plot in the backyard garden for the earlier five many years, given that he moved to 1 Washington.
A more recent addition to the garden’s grounds are the Canadian, provincial and territorial flags.
It was started by a tenant (Captain) Jack Holyday three a long time ago when he obtained the Canadian flag from the Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes. He then got the Ontario flag from the Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha. Subsequent arrived the Franco-Ontario flag.
This 12 months a couple of tenants, Ricky and Catherine Marcotte, donated a further 14 flags of the provinces, territories as effectively as an additional Canadian flag.
He suggests they bought authorization from ELRL as very well as the city to fly the flags, considering the fact that the backyard is on municipal home.
One more resident, Person Bonneville was in a position to secure the Metis flag, which was donated by Donna Calina.
The very last flag, which is flying higher than the yard, is the ‘Honour Our Troops’ flag, which was donate by Elaine Tremblay.
Preston suggests they would like to be equipped to fly a handful of far more flags.
“We’re looking for Anishnawbe flags,” from Serpent River Very first Country and Mississauga First Country.
But they have to be donations simply because they are all volunteers and do have not money to acquire the flags. Preston states they can price as considerably $85 every.
Another major volunteer in the garden is Norm Bisson. He has accomplished a whole lot of do the job and even donated the gazebo and the desk, claims Preston.
However, the flags won’t be flying in the garden really prolonged. Preston states since the flags are high-priced, they will be taken down to maintain them from fading in the solar. But they will be flown yet again to mark Canada’s 155th birthday in 2022.
Preston says they also entered the yard in the city’s Canada Day Contest. They came in sixth position.
He suggests acquiring the garden actually assist lots of by means of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants couldn’t go away their homes apart from for necessities, they employed to have functions prior to the pandemic, but they all experienced to be cancelled.

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Shifting to Elliot Lake
Preston and his spouse moved to Elliot Lake from Collingwood in 2016. When Collingwood is also deemed to be a retirement group, “It’s a minimal a lot more highly-priced,” he states.
In addition, he enjoys the outdoors such as the nearby fishing and golfing, as nicely as gardening.
“We just showed up in this article a person working day because of an ad two a long time before we moved here. We came up again when we retired.”
He suggests they have no designs to depart Elliot Lake.
“I uncover Elliot Lake is a extremely, very, very great local community. My wife and I each get pleasure from it listed here.”
He seriously enjoys fishing and suggests, “You’re sitting on a river financial institution and you say to by yourself ‘Years in the past I’d have paid out hundreds of dollars for this.’
“And it’s the same with the golf class. We golfed listed here on Monday and it’s just like owning your personal non-public golfing study course. There is barely any person else out there. There’s no press, no shove, no rush.”
It’s also like that in the group.
“Every once in a when you get aggravated when go in entrance of you when you are stopped at a Quit signal. Like when’s this visitors going to close,” he suggests with a giggle.

Photograph by KEVIN McSHEFFREY/THE STANDARDJim Preston
Photograph by KEVIN McSHEFFREY/THE STANDARDJim Preston is a tenant at 1 Washington Crescent and a volunteer at the Washington Seniors’ Backyard garden. He and other volunteers extra flags to the garden for July Canada’s birthday month.
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