2014 marks the Hay Lakes Communities in Bloom eighth season of growth!
The CIB Committee members continue to encourage the enthusiasm, vision, drive and spark of residents and businesses. In return, visitors and residents are treated to a welcoming and attractive community, the result of renewed attitude and civic pride. Our Village Council, Administration, Public Works and residents are striving together to create a sustainable vibrant community.
Proving it does take a community to raise a child, the surrounding community and regional businesses joined forces, built a new multipurpose facility to provide creative activity for our youth. As a result, Hay Lakes is home to one of two indoor skateboard parks in Alberta and although closed right now, council and administration are working hard with the Ag Society to try and re-open this amazing facility!
After several challenging years, including a general economic downturn, the loss of our landmark hotel, drought-related agricultural emergencies and a scramble to replace the Village’s water supply, Mother Nature finally brought us relief in the form of welcome rainfall.
Despite these trials, Hay Lakes is steady in its resolve to continue to polish the jewel of a community we are blessed with.
The new subdivision is growing as more folks are being attracted here, welcomed to a place where neighbours look out for each other, join forces for mutual benefit and preserve a rare and wonderful way of life.
Hay Lakes is truly a place to put down roots and become part of a community in bloom.
We welcome you!
Every May the annual Village clean-up takes place. Residents and businesses pitch in. Scouts and Venturers clear brush; older students pick up around the Village and the younger children tend to the school grounds.
Annually, Councillors, Administration and Public Works staff walk every street and lane to inspect and prioritize a public works and infrastructure “to do” list. Maintenance has been heightened, equipment upgraded and work is conducted by a dedicated public works supervisor, Lance and a local student added for the summer months. This year, Council took the opportunity to tour the community with administration and public works after meeting with village residents at a community meet and greet held at the Rec Centre on Saturday, May 10th.
As the effect of the CIB activities spreads, the diligence of the committee and the Public Works crew is matched by village residents taking pride of ownership to the next level.
The banner program is in its 7th year. We have now added three new Christmas Banners to the program. When residents saw fierce winds send a few banners flying, they went out of their way to give chase cross-country to rescue and return them. Hay Lakes’ businesses have been terrific supporters of the banner and planter programs.
We hope to introduce you to residents and business owners while in our community so you can hear first-hand how they feel the Communities in Bloom Program add to the community.
The Village encourages all residents and businesses to keep their properties looking presentable. Council has been working hard with certain businesses in town by encouraging property clean-up. During your tour we will be taking you past a couple of the more challenging areas within our community and hope to get some more ideas on how to motivate these individuals to meet a standard of pride in our community!
During the first two weeks of July, Village Council, assured that several large dumpsters were in the village to assist residents with property clean-up. This initiative is always most welcomed and well used by residents.
This year, the CiB Committee, taking advice from last year’s CiB judges, has decided to encourage back-yard and laneway clean-up. We have placed posters and put messages on the new Village Facebook Page! We are also sponsoring “Hummer Days” the weekend of July 12th and 13th and again, we have had the help of some of the younger CiB members who create beautiful colorful posters to display in the post office and other businesses within the Village.
The last few years have driven home just how precious our water supply is. The Village’s reservoir barely lasted through the winter of 2008/2009 until an agreement with the Village of New Sarepta and the Capital Region Southwest Water Services Commission brought a temporary supply via a 14 km pipeline to Hay Lakes in March of 2009.
After nearly a decade and a half of meetings, plans, negotiations, re-routing, re-alignment of pipelines, and delays, patience was rewarded with water treated by Epcor finally flowed through a connector pipeline from Edmonton via Leduc in May 2010.
Water meters have been installed in all public and private buildings in the village. With the previous years’ drought, residents learned a valuable lesson on water conservation and many homes have now adopted the use of rain-barrels for outdoor watering. The library spearheaded a fundraiser in 2008 selling rain-barrels. The CiB committee encourages use of rain-barrels and cloths lines within the Village wherever appropriate and possible!
Hay Lakes is developing a “Pathway to the Park” and has dedicated infrastructure funds to pave Village streets and sidewalks all to encourage more walking within the Village. As many of our residents commute to either Edmonton or Camrose each day, car-pooling is also encouraged.
The semi-annual Camrose County hazardous waste disposal program is well-supported by area residents.
The Village implemented a municipal waste removal and recycling program in 2010. This program is well used by village residents and has encouraged recycling tremendously. Hay Lakes is now diverting 32400 kg of recyclable material from landfills.
Local organizations maintain pro-active recycling programs, especially high-use facilities at the school, Recreation Centre, and Agriplex. The 4-H Club collects old vehicle batteries for recycling in Camrose and regular Scouting bottle drives are always supported.
Everyone was very pleased when milk containers became part of the provincial program and the anti-idling bylaw aimed at diesel vehicles parked overnight has been welcomed by residents, appreciative of the noise and air pollution it prevents.
The use of pesticides and herbicides has been minimized. We have an agreement with Camrose County for weed inspections, and any necessary herbicides are used sparingly.
The Scout cabin, constructed of used power poles in 2008 at Telegraph Park, now features solar-powered interior and exterior lighting.
Four of the 1st Hay Lakes Scouts received their Chief Scout Awards this past spring. It is important to note that the 1st Hay Lakes Scouts has one of the highest participation rates, on a per capita basis, in all of Canada. Once again the Scouts of Hay Lakes will be competing in the “Bail Art” completion for Prairie Fun Days!
The Community in Blooms Committee continues to encourage Hay Lakes residents to have pride in their community.
Sadly, the annual Johnson MS Cycle Tour changed the route this year and no longer rides through Hay Lakes because of heavy traffic on Highway 21. Participants cycle a circular route from Nisku to Camrose and back travelling a total of 183 km and raising approximately $2,000,000. Village service groups volunteered for many years to serve food and refreshments, and provide an area for medical attention, rest and bicycle repairs for over 2000 participants at the Agriplex and this annual event is sorely missed!
The Village and area residents are huge supporters of Ducks Unlimiteds’ annual fundraiser. Scouting is involved in placing nesting boxes in surrounding habitat.
Local businesses continually step-up to the plate and buy out the annual ‘Adopt-a-Barrel’ program sponsored by the local CIB Committee. The main street banners continue to be a hit, though we did learn a thing or two about bracket and anchor design!
Many of the local service groups continue to support CIB efforts and in turn, CIB members have reciprocated. The Ag society hires youth to supervise the skating rink, and are the driving force behind the EnerPlus Multi-purpose building.
Hay Lakes and Area Regional Recreation Board (HARRB) supports the youth recreation programs with funding coming from the Village of Hay Lake and Camrose County. Financial support is provided to a swimming program, soccer, scouting, library summer program, outdoor skating and curling.
2014 Youth Programming in our Community
after school programs
Summer reading and outdoor programs
Armena Beef Club
Hay Lakes Multi-4-H Club
Rollyview Dairy 4-H Club
4 Churches work together to run a week long summer Vacation Bible camp:
Public works and administration has assisted with planting and placing barrels and planting and watering our floral gardens. They have been busy mowing and cleaning up vacant areas. Village council is committed to hiring a local student each summer to assist the Public Works Supervisor. This year we have Jonas who according to Lance is learning quickly and contributing well to the Village team!
Community involvement: our local businesses and some residents make donations to purchase flowers. We have volunteers who assist with planting and watering and weeding.
From a Playground to a Skateboard Park … and more!
What began several years ago as a need to replace some simple community playground equipment at the school blossomed into a $165,000.00 project. This original project now means a colorful adventure awaits our younger citizens and students from the surrounding areas. Those funds also helped several school programs for sports, recreation and music, providing equipment, uniforms and instruments.
But the momentum of the ‘Playground Committee’ was the catalyst that spawned another project worth over a quarter of a million dollars – with priceless benefits.
Several fund raisers have been held over the years, enabling a pavilion to be erected with the support of the Ag Society and thousands of volunteer hours assisting the contractors.
The Ag Society made a site available for the skateboard park multi use pavilion, helped by generous financial support from local and regional businesses and government grants.
To kick off the financing, hundreds of hockey fans braved a brisk 2008 evening for a celebrity hockey game pitting our Haymakers against the CFCW Critters, raising over $10,000.00!
The Ag grounds are home to the annual Hay Lakes Slo-pitch Tournament. This event welcomes approximately 20 teams from across the province each summer.
The Hay Lakes Volunteer Fire Department members pride themselves on the amount of training and practice they do. These volunteers keep our community safe and they are always ready to assist and respond when required.
Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation:
In 2007 the Hay Lakes Historical Society installed several former school and church site markers, and is currently researching each one to add interpretive plaques to those locations as well as interpretive signage at historically significant sites throughout the village. Camrose County has offered to help facilitate siting and marking the remainder of the historic Hay Lakes Trail from the boundary with Leduc County, through the Pathway to the Park in the Village and terminating at a cairn in Telegraph Park.
The Village joined the Boomtown trail Association, an excellent resource to promote tourism along Highway 21 and 56, from Fort Saskatchewan to the Trans-Canada Highway. In 2011 and 2012 Hay Lakes Telegraph Park has been one of the site destinations for Prairie Fun Days, a driving tour of Camrose County held the last weekend in August.
Downtown beautification in Hay Lakes includes the use of fabric banners and hanging planters.
Village activity signage is located on Highway 21 and managed by Village Council. The Community Centre and CIB members are looking into trying some xeriscaping once a suitable area is determined.
A portion of the community playground at the school is lined with material made from recycled tires for a softer landing for the children’s playground activity.
Following the construction of new planter borders at the school, the remainder of the area surrounding it was refurbished, and old, crumbling concrete replaced.
Of particular note, the school received funding for a 3-year program for the elementary students to learn where their food comes from by growing a vegetable garden. They used the produce to make soup and served it to the school’s students. The 2013 & 2014 garden was a flower garden as seen on our profile cover.
Villagers and residents in the surrounding areas have embraced the CIB Committee’s cues and are getting creative, making use of solar accent lighting and new materials – notably banners and/or floral displays at farm and acreage gates.
The grounds surrounding the historical buildings at the south end of Telegraph Park have always been planted with and maintained in a manner that makes them look like someone from that period actually lives in the Stavne Homestead.
The Telegraph Park trout pond is being left in its natural state and the natural landscaped setting at the park’s outdoor stage is a perfect venue for performances and concerts.
Tree/Urban Forest Management:
The Village has access to two arbor consultants – Doug Lyseng of Maplewood Gardens in neighbouring Armena and Skidstree Service Ltd. We use their services to assist public works in caring for the trees planted on boulevards and reserve grounds which currently number in excess of 230.
The village wide brush clean-up program occurs in the spring and any chipped by-product is put to good use as mulch around the village. This spring 8 spruce trees that lined the boulevard along 3rd Avenue North were removed due to concern regarding infrastructure damage. As a result our Village Foreman, Lance, is committed to researching and presenting to council a complete list of boulevard “approved” trees. We all look forward to beautiful boulevards lining the streets and avenues throughout town!
The new subdivision, Country Rose Estates, has architectural design controls requiring front yards to be completed within 12 months of the completion of house construction, approved ground cover and at least one bush and one tree with a minimum 1.5 inch diameter trunk if deciduous and at least 5 feet high if coniferous.
The Hay Lakes Scouts planted shelterbelt trees at the Ag Society grounds and Telegraph Park. These have been watered by the Hay Lakes Volunteer Fire Department as part of their regular training exercises involving pumping water from nearby ponds.
Turf and Ground Covers:
As new homes are completed in the Village, residents are required to lay sod or provide approved ground cover within one year of completion of the home.
To compliment the “Welcome” sign which greets people as they enter the Village, a simple, easy to maintain area was created to hold barrel planters and rose bushes.
At the intersection of Main Street and Railway Avenue, a special concrete planter and solar-powered traffic control sign was installed.
Once again this year CIB barrels displayed throughout the village have been sold out and the pole planters are a huge hit with local residents.
The library reading garden bench and planter was constructed in 2008. Depending on supplies and growing conditions, plans call for climbing and flowering vines to cover the fence and serve as a natural visual barrier to the public works yard.
CIB members and volunteers take weekly shifts on a watering schedule throughout the season to ensure the hanging baskets, planters and municipal floral features are properly maintained.
In July 2008 the Strawflower was designated as Hay Lakes’ official flower by Village Council. In future years we hope to develop and maintain an annual display of these beautiful blooms!