A local group called Vision 2025 is hoping to encourage citizens to help beautify North Bay by tackling the unsightly weed growth along the city's streets and sidewalks.
It describes itself as "a citizen-led group that focuses on tabling and discussing ideas that relate to making progressive and positive change in our community."
The goal of the group is to bring citizens and entrepreneurs together to bring North Bay back as a beautiful, active, and prosperous place to live and work.
Alexandre Caron, a 23-year-old, is one of the organizers and just recently made North Bay home, then started a business called Hart & Caron Property Management. He says he wants to help his newfound community.
"We have an opioid crisis, a lot of crime that's increasing so we'd like to bring our town to a festive, lively city, and to do that we want to unite everyone together to simply pull out weeds in the downtown and Ferris area. We want to take care of our city.
"We understand that it's the job of the City, but they don't want to do the work. At the end of the day, the City is we the citizens. It's up to us to do the work."
Caron is asking volunteers to meet Sunday morning at 10 at the museum on Oak St. and bring a bucket, broom and small garden shovel. Teams will be organized and sent out to the worst weed-infested sections of downtown and Ferris for two hours of beautification.
"We want to pull the weeds and get our city looking nice," he enthused.
The group is different from Clean, Green and Beautiful, a volunteer group that cleans garbage up across the city.
Caron is looking for between five to 50 helpers Sunday, but will be happy with any initial turnout. The weather should be perfect for the effort with the forecast calling for sunny skies and a high of 18.
"it doesn't matter how many people we have. What matters is that we need to bring our city back together, local businesses and citizens. The politicians are not listening that this needs to be done."
Ironically the City is breaking its own property standards bylaw that states, "The cutting of tall grass and weeds that exceeds 8” in height."
"We need to send a message that as a city, we need to act, not only council members but businesses and citizens as well," explainsCaron.
"North Bay will have its 100th anniversary in 2025, We would like to use this event in launching what we call, VISION 2025. The keystones of this are leadership, collaboration and transparency," says the Facebook page.
"In order to create the vibrant community we all want, there needs to be both greater personal civic involvement and more open, progressive and dynamic leadership."
Caron asks that participants bring their masks and hand sanitizer.
"The target is the downtown core, but if everyone just walked out their front door and pulled the weeds on their parkway and curb, great strides could be made. We encourage business owners to do the same in front of their businesses," adds Caron.
The weeds will be dumped into garbage bags and taken to the recycling depot.