A community in bloom
Inuvik Housing Authority does its part for town beautification

Paula White
Northern News Services

NNSL (July 02/99) - The public housing units around town are looking a little spiffier than usual these days, thanks to the installation of some flower boxes.

The Inuvik Housing Authority purchased 200 flower boxes earlier this spring and they now adorn the porch railings of many of their residential units, as well as the senior citizens' complex and the residents couldn't be more delighted.

"Now that we're doing this, a lot of the tenants are starting to clean up their units and plant their own flower boxes," said Harley Matthew, superintendent of one of the housing authority's apartment units.

Although the apartment buildings did not receive any of the flower boxes this year, Matthew will be tending to the flower boxes at the housing authority's other units. He will also be helping Don Madore, superintendent of the senior citizens' complex, look after the flower boxes and the general landscaping there.

"Now that the flowers and grass are coming up, they (senior citizens) really love it," said Madore. He said many of the senior citizens, having lived all their lives in the North, are seeing some types of flowers for the first time. All the boxes were planted by the Community Garden Society.

"I think it's great," he commented. "Inuvik needs a little beautification. Everything that you do makes it a little nicer...for the tourists especially."

Vicki Boudreau, executive manager of the Inuvik Housing Authority, said the board made the decision to purchase the boxes as a follow-up to renovations (new siding and windows, among other things) of many of the units last year. Also, it was noticed that many private homeowners around town were fixing up their own yards by planting flowers and grass.

"The board felt we also should be making our units look attractive as well," she said.

The boxes include all different kinds of flowers, from petunias and snapdragons to colourful begonias and marigolds. Many are blooming now and many will bloom in the next few weeks.

"I noticed some petunias out here that are just about ready to bloom," Boudreau said.

The flower boxes will be collected up in the fall, to be put away for the winter. Boudreau explained that, depending on whether the housing authority has the funding and how many boxes are retrieved, the project will continue next year.

"It's certainly been something that our tenants are pleased about," she said, adding that they have made their feelings known to the staff at the housing authority.

"It's been nice for them to receive the thanks from the tenants," Boudreau commented. "That's very pleasant for them."