A trip down Memorial Drive this past few weeks in May provided a delightful and amazing display of tulips in a number of Spring colours. It started with a dream.
Bart and Paula Van Haaster of U-Pick Tulip Farm are the most recent recipients of the Pelham Beautification Committee’s Thank You initiative. Bart said “we first thought of the U-Pick Tulip Farm idea last year and approached our employer, TASC LLC, a mass producer of Spring Bulbs, about our initiative. We were given an enthusiastic thumbs up from head office last summer and then the work began.” Bart further explained, “with the assistance of Dave Kleinsessink of Berry Fresh Farms, we planted one million tulip bulbs on 5 acres of land in Fenwick.”
However, the COVID pandemic almost put an end to their dream. Paula explained, “I talked to the people at the Niagara Health Unit on more than one occasion, especially after the third wave hit Niagara, and after discussing our initiative and the safe protocols that would be put in place we were assured that the public would be at minimal risk of catching COVID.”
The Van Haasters were overwhelmed by the public response, when the U-Pick Tulip Farm opened May 1st. “People came from all over during the two weeks we were open”, revealed Paula. “Folks were so overjoyed looking over the field of one million colourful tulips that some people stood in the field crying. Families were so thankful to be out in the fresh air picking tulips to take home.”
Jen Pilzecker, Chair of the Pelham Beautification Committee explained, “the Committee’s mandate is to encourage businesses, individuals and organizations to beautify the town and I can’t think of a better example than five acres of beautiful, colourful tulips, especially during this dark time we are experiencing.” Mayor Marvin Junkin added, “it is great to see this endeavour during COVID. It gives people the opportunity to feel a little bit normal. The Van Haasters put Pelham on the map.”
Congratulations to Bart and Paula Van Haaster for their new business initiative and for their excellent beautification achievement.
The Pelham Beautification Committee is an advisory committee to Pelham Council. The Committee seeks to foster civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement. The monthly ‘Thank You’ card program is one of the Committee’s efforts to inspire the Town’s businesses, organizations and residents to exemplify ideals defined in the Beautification Committee’s Terms of Reference, available at www.pelham.ca/beautification.
The Pelham Beautification Committee will name a recipient each month. Individuals are encouraged to submit potential recipient recommendations to the Pelham Beautification Committee at email@example.com
For more information, contact: Cynthia Roberts, Vice-Chair, Pelham Beautification Committee, at 289-686-5676.