Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tourism in Richmond County

Spring temperatures have finally arrived and our thoughts turn towards getting outside and preparing the yard and garden for spring planting. I find that as soon as the snow disappears and the sun starts to dry up the ground that I am drawn to my flower beds to see what I have to do to freshen them up and prepare the beds for the summer ahead. I don’t have a lot of time as the tourism season is also quickly approaching and with the opening of the Visitor Information Center, whatever stage my flower beds are in at that point is how they will be for the summer. For the flowers at the Visitor Information Centre we are so fortunate to have the staff at the Greenhouse Co-op Flower Shop located in St. Peter’s donate their services and flowers for our Centre’s flower boxes. Visitors are always commenting on how attractive the flowers are and all I have to do is apply water and hope for sun. The visitors stopping in at our VIC often comment on the beautiful flower baskets that adorn the lampposts along main street, many asking about the types of flowers that make up the baskets and about the amount of maintenance that it would take to keep the flowers looking so nice. Luckily, St. Peter’s has a Village Commission that does an excellent job of keeping the village looking its best all year round. Visitors also ask a number of questions about flowers that they see growing along the sides of the roads, describing them by colour and size, some actually bring in a sprig of the plant to see if we can shed some light on what it might be, as they do not see these plants in their area. Luckily we can refer them to the Greenhouse Cooperative where their knowledgeable staff can give them the answer. Some of the visitors to the area last season couldn’t help but wonder what the problem was with all the trees that were down in a crisscross fashion along the main travelways, asking whether the cause was hard winters or lack of rain and high winds. Visitors also comment on different areas of North America where they have travelled, talking about how programs to beautify their communities by planting flowering shrubs and trees along the highways, going a long way to add to the attraction of the area for visitors. When I drive along some of our roads where the trees look like matchsticks ready to tumble, I can’t help but think how nice it would be if we had a program where land owners would replace the damaged trees with a beautiful colourful shrub or fruit tree. I remember when I was a child there was a radio show that ended with an inspirational message of “ if everyone lights but one little candle what a bright world this would be”. In our case, if land owners planted one little tree along our roadways, what a beautiful area this could be. Just something to think about.

Accolades continue to build up for Cape Breton. This time Cape Breton has been noted as the Number 1 Romanic Destination in Canada according to the travel website Cape Breton was chosen for this distinction because of the charm of our country setting with its easy going life style, cozy pubs, charming B&Bs and romantic resorts, beautiful scenery and pristine beaches. On the website they mention White Point and the Baddeck area but this is a designation that could describe any area in Cape Breton. From inverness to Cheticamp to Louisbourg to St. Peter’s and Isle Madame the charm of the country setting of our communities are a certainty, with amazing scenery, great local pubs that offer Ceilidhs and traditional music, resorts and B&B’s that offer a romantic setting and our easy style of living. Whatever the reason couples pick Cape Breton Island for their getaway, be it an anniversary or their honeymoon, a stop at any of our quant, peaceful communities would offer a perfect setting.
Until next week, have fun exploring the beautiful scenery of Richmond.

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