A group of Norland residents are seeking support to honor the area’s unique geological heritage, one stone at a time.
Paul Christie, along with Della Chynoweth, Murray Walker, Lou Loree, Emmett Yeo, Mark Chadwick, Ross Fogwell and Miriam Newton, have set the wheels in motion to build The Land Between Garden and Fountain.
The project started close to three years ago when Christie, who is president of the Norland Horticultural Society, began actively pursuing an idea he has had for close to a decade.
“When I first came to the area, I saw a sign that read ‘The Land Between’ and I wondered what that meant,” said Christie, who discovered Norland sits in the region where the Canadian Shield’s granite meets limestone, formed at the brink of the glacial retreat.
He later had the opportunity to read Vern LeCraw’s book, “The Land Between,” that chronicled the area’s history from the ice age and First Nations people to the early European immigrants, and the generations that followed.
Around the same time, the Society had assumed maintenance of Ward Memorial Park, and the group began discussing ways to enhance the site, which is used by numerous groups throughout the year.
“We already had some ideas and when COVID hit, I found I had some extra time on my hands,” said Christie, who found himself putting his graphic design talents to work by creating several conceptual drawings for projects.
After chatting with Chynoweth one day, Christie decided it was time to take the next step and began recruiting like-minded individuals.
“Each (committee) member that I approached, I got a ‘wow’ out of,” said Christie. “Once we started, everyone just fed and fueled my dream.”
A big focus of the project is the “power of eight,” which is said to have powerful energy, symbolizing new beginnings, hope, new horizons and bright futures. Designs have been created to showcase perennial flora in the eight gardens that are connected by eight pathways. There will also be eight memorial benches.
The project will also feature four plaques detailing the history of The Land Between.
The group has successfully secured $15,000 in funding from the municipality and already raised a matching $15,000 toward the estimated $80,000 cost of bringing the idea to life.
A “one stone at a time” fundraiser is also in full swing where individuals can “purchase” a regular ($25), medium ($100) or large ($500) stone; the latter will include the donor’s name.
Christie added that a number of individuals have also made in-kind contributions, including setting up the digital equipment needed to operate the fountain and construction of a pumphouse.
While there is still a great deal of work left to do — and funds to raise — the group plans to “put a shovel in the ground” by Thanksgiving.
For more information, visit The Land Between Garden Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org; e-transfers can also be made via this address.