Although the Winston Heights/Mountview community really boomed in the mid- to late forties, its Mountview roots go back to 1908.

In 2007, the Community Association Board of Directors looked for a project that would celebrate the 100th anniversary, bring community members together and add to the attractiveness of the Community Hall site. Responding to the community interest in sustainable gardening, a small group of volunteers proposed a naturalized water-efficient garden, planted primarily with native species, as the centennial project. The garden would be a demonstration garden for community members to see how more sustainable and low water-use plants could be used in local landscaping.

The Board approved the proposal and the committee engaged a landscape designer, 818 Studio Ltd., to plan a Centennial Garden with an innovative design that channels rainwater from the Community Hall roof into a dry bed holding pond. When it rains, the pond accepts the water drained from the roof and gradually disperses it for use by the plants, shrubs and trees.

Last year, with funding from the Community Association, the local Lion’s Club and Shell Canada Community Service Fund, the committee was able to complete the structure of the garden, including excavating for the dry bed holding pond, engineering the drainage of the Hall roof, adding a bridge and planting the trees. This summer, with help from over 50 volunteers, we completed the planting of the native and drought resistant plants and added lots of great-smelling cedar mulch to keep them moist as they become established. We also hired Prairie Waves to seed the perimeter with native grasses that will keep out the weeds, require little mowing and ripple gently in the wind.

The Centennial Garden is intended to be a gathering place for community members to meet one another and recognize the history and community of Winston Heights Mountview and as a conversation starter for community members to consider drought resistant and naturalized plants for their own gardens. (Want to know more about what’s planted. Soon we’ll post photos and descriptions of the plants.)

For the remainder of the summer, we have established a group of Garden Stewards whose main task is to regularly water the plants so that they get strong roots and a firm footing in the garden. We can still use some more volunteers, so please email to join the Stewards.

In the fall, we’re planning a welcome event, coinciding with the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Community Association, to officially unveil the Centennial Garden. Over time, we hope to add a series of interpretive signs that will document the important milestones in the 100 year history of Winston Heights/Mountview.