“There’s an otter that lives in there,” said Carole Fischer, smiling at a South Bethany canal located near her home. “It’s really, really cute, and my grandkids just love it. He peeks up, and he dives down.”
She enjoys the canals so much that her family “adopted” a nearby garden last summer and won first place in the town’s 2019 Adopt-A-Canal/Road-End Beauty Contest.
South Bethany invites people to help beautify the town in the annual contest. Whether the canals are dressed up or down, the goal is to make South Bethany a more pleasant place to be.
Winners of the 2019 contest were announced on the warm evening of Aug. 30:
• First place — Scott and Carole Fischer for Bayshore Drive;
• Second place — Rich and Sue Juliano for Brandywine Drive;
• Third place — Lori and Frank Cicero for Canal Drive.
The volunteers enjoy keeping the area pretty because it’s like an extension of their own space.
“So when you look out here, it’s beautiful with the wildlife,” said Fisher, looking at the begonias, drift roses, native hibiscus and a bench for the public. “It’s really peaceful, because you get the morning sun.”
The South Bethany Community Enhancement Committee sponsors the annual adoption and contest, which is decided by popular vote.
“It’s working the way we hoped it would, that when people move on,” another family takes over, said Town Council Member Sue Callaway. “And that’s how it works. It sort of perpetuates itself. … Next year will be the 10-year anniversary.”
“And people enjoy it! We see people come and sit,” said Sue Juliano.
About three dozen of these small gardens have been adopted over the years.
Winners earned bragging rights and gift certificates from the Inland Bays Garden Center, where owners Denise Hoeksema and Cheryl Rehrig encourage using native plants that are beautiful and healthy for the local ecosystem.
By Laura Walter