The Gleaner
Agriculture

Field signs serve to educate tourists and locals alike

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…” is how the song goes, and it might well be describing the Rockburn-Dewittville Side Road where signs have been popping up beside fields and other features of the rural landscape. The placement of the signs is the work of Hinchinbrooke mayor Carolyn Cameron, who had them made at her own expense and has personally positioned them at intervals along the road, labelling the crops, woodlands, wetlands, etc. “I got my feet wet a few times!” she laments.

So far, Mayor Cameron has devoted three weeks of her time to this project, and she is not finished. The bilingual signs are made of Coroplast, a brand of corrugated plastic. They are white with green lettering and display the subheading “Our Fields.” The aim, she states, is to make bicyclists, motorcyclists, and tourists in general “aware of their surroundings.”

She checked with the landowners before placing the signs and found them all “very supportive.” Farmers who have not yet decided which crop will be in their fields will contact her once they have planted. She chose the Rockburn-Dewittville Side Road because the landscape is so diverse; “There is such a variety of cash crops, orchards, and wetlands,” she explains. As well, the area is visited by many tourists.

 

Mayor Carolyn Cameron, out standing in her field.
PHOTO Yvonne Lewis Langlois

 

Carolyn Cameron has been planning this project for a while. While visiting friends and family in Oakville several years ago, she listened from the back seat of the car as her husband Butch and her brother Ralph critiqued the fields they passed by. “That field is good,” and “That must have been planted late,” are the types of observations she recalls them making. She realized that she had never really paid attention to the fields in that manner and that it was likely that many other people hadn’t either. So, “It’s up to farmers to educate them,” she says.

Teaching is a role familiar to Howick-born Carolyn Templeton Cameron as she taught primary school for more than nine years, first in Montreal and later at Franklin Elementary. She raised three children and now enjoys her four grandchildren, all of whom live in the Valley that she loves.

She served as a municipal councillor for 10 years and then in 2013 she became the first female mayor of Hinchinbrooke. In November of this year, she will retire from that role.

On May 13, MNA Claire IsaBelle made a speech in the National Assembly, thanking and congratulating Mayor Cameron on her “great initiative.” During that speech, IsaBelle noted that fields are not somewhere to throw garbage, but are areas that should be respected. She said that she found the sign project very educational.

In the fall, Mayor Cameron will collect all her signs and store them away to be set up again for future growing seasons.

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1 Comment

Trish Harwood 2021-05-26 at 19:23

This is a very cool incentive! Very educational. Congratulations on a great idea 🙂

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