THERE ARE TWO THINGS I think of whenever I see a picture or news story originating in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
One is the beautiful multi-color paint jobs on the City’s old buildings and the other is the dandelions. They are massive plants with luxuriant foliage and big, healthy petals, so unlike the comparatively modest variety we get around here.
When I first saw them on a visit to that beautiful place many years ago, I thought, “This town really has to clean up its act.” It seemed there was not a patch of grass, boulevard or City-maintained flower bed that didn’t have dandelions.
But I judged St. John’s too harshly. The City hasn’t used cosmetic pesticides on playgrounds or sports facilities since 1998. The City’s website proudly declares that “due to public concern about pesticides being used in the urban environment, the City of St. John’s pest management program is targeted to promote plant health.”
Well, those were some very healthy dandelions right there.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.