South Bethany holding second annual canal-end beauty contest


Beginning on Saturday, South Bethany’s Community Enhancement Committee and its Adopt-A-Canal/Road End program will be hosting their 2nd Annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest, designed to tout the community beautification program in its second year.

“The Adopt-A-Canal Program has been in place now for about a year and a half,” said Sue Calloway, chair of the committee and town councilwoman. “Last year, we decided to do something fun, and somebody came up with the idea of a beauty contest. We had fun and the participants enjoyed it, and we thought we’d do it again.”

Calloway said that when the contest was held last year, only six canal-ends had been adopted, but 13 canal-ends have now been adopted and will be participating in the contest.

“We really are trying to promote the program, as well as thank the volunteers for their time and their financial support of the landscape gardens,” she said, “and to just to promote some community spirit, as well.”

From Aug. 18 through Sept. 2, South Bethany residents will have the opportunity to cast their votes as to which canal-end is the most beautiful. Residents can vote with a scorecard provided at town hall or on the Town’s Web site, and are being encouraged to walk around town to vote for their favorite canal-ends, or — also new this year — simply visit the town’s Web site to view pictures of each garden end online and submit their votes.

“We’re going to get them to choose their top five favorites, so we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Calloway said that the winners will be announced after the CEC’s Sept. 6 meeting, and the adopter of the first place canal-end will win a special prize.

“Well, besides the glory, Lord’s Landscaping is providing a $100 gift certificate to the winner. We’re very appreciative of that.”

Calloway said the CEC came up with the Adopt-A-Canal/Road-End Program while brainstorming ways to get more residents involved in the town, while also helping to better the community.

“Our committee, the Community Enhancement Committee — which looks at all different aspects of the town — one of our members, Kathy Jankowski (now our mayor), came up with the idea. We felt there was something that needed to be something done with the canal,” explained Calloway.

“The South Bethany town budget doesn’t allow the Town to hire someone to landscape and maintain them. It’s a lot of work and funding. Also, we were interested in getting people more actively involved in things and volunteering, so it was a winning combination.”

The Town of South Bethany has a total of 45 canal-ends, and Calloway said the committee hopes to have the majority of them adopted by property owners, who are encouraged, for example, to remove bulkhead-damaging shrubs, and then let their landscapers’ creativity run wild to beautify the areas for everyone’s enjoyment.

“We still have a way to go. Each of them are in different stages… Not all of them need to be adopted — they’re OK the way they are. But the majority of the 45, we would like to have adopted.”

Calloway said that adopting a canal-end will not only help improve the water quality in the canals, but also beautify the town and create a sense of community with neighbors working together.

Those who are interested in adopting a canal-end can simply contact town hall, which will then help the resident set up a meeting with the CEC.

“We go out and look at the canal together and talk about the kinds of things they have in mind. One requirement is we try to open up a view of the canal, but we also have to consider safety. We sometimes like to encourage them to put a bench there, if there isn’t one there already, so people can enjoy the view. Then they get with their neighbors to see if other neighbors are interested in working on the project with them.”

Calloway said that sometimes the canal-ends are worked on by multiple neighbors, and other times they are maintained by one family.

“We have some canals where there have been three, four, five different neighbors involved. Then there have been some that have been just on their own,” she said. “Sometimes folks will contribute just monetarily; some will contribute their work efforts. Another important thing is, some will say, ‘Well, I can’t be here, but you can use my water, my hose, my spigot, and you can water it.’ It just depends on a lot of different variables.”

Calloway said that she’s pleased with the growth of the program and hopes that more residents will decide to get involved in helping make the South Bethany community a little more beautiful.

“We’re getting a task done that the Town cannot afford to do on its own, and people are actually having fun doing it.”

For more information on the Adopt-A-Canal/Road-End Program or to vote in the South Bethany Canal–End Beauty Contest, visit www.southbethany.org or call (302) 539-3653.