About Us

History

We are a dedicated non-profit volunteer group, and since 2004, a Stand Alone Committee of the Lindsay & District Horticultural Society, under the umbrella of the Ontario Horticultural Association.OHA green print logo imagesCART8OGV

As such, we are Stewards of the Lilac Gardens of Lindsay, dedicated to continuing the Millennium Project for the Citizens of Lindsay.

1994

What began in 1994 as a vision by Len Shea, a Lindsay Citizen of the Year, to “Plant a Legacy” of lilacs for Lindsay, the Millennium project was conceived by founding the ‘Lilacs for Lindsay’ group of like-minded Citizens of the Year proposing to make Lindsay “abundant with lilacs” by having “a lilac in every garden”, on public and private properties, and developing a Horticultural garden featuring lilacs.

With endorsement from the Master Gardeners, and the Horticultural Society, they presented their proposal to Town Council.

Planting a legacy sign cropped

Lilacs a hot topic

1995

Birth of Millenium Project

1996

In 1996 the Town Parks Department granted permission to plant lilacs in a portion of Logie Street Park.

Dedicated Logie Street Park brightened

1997

First tree Victoria Ave. with Len                       1997 trees multiplying paper

1998

In 1998, a ‘seed money’ grant, from the Lindsay & District Horticultural Society, enabled the first 209 lilacs of eleven different species to be planted.

                            Then garden work 1998     First plantings now in 2009

That same year,The Master Gardeners group, with a grant from the Canadian Wildlife Federation, created, and maintain, a Perennial Butterfly Garden, creating a special feature which attracts many birds and butterfly species. Generous contributions provided Arbours, where visitors can stop and admire the nature around them.

1998 Master Gardeners beginning Butterfly Gardens First plantings

Butterfly garden after

Butterfly Garden sign

2000

By year 2000, the Millennium Project was well under way, with ‘Plant a Lilac, Plant a Memory’, lilacs were being planted in gardens throughout town and fronting various commercial premises such as Home Building Centre, Polito Ford, and Zellers (now Target) ( where up to year 2012 these shrubs were maintained by a young 90 something Mr.Len Shea himself). The first Caressant Care nursing home and St Mary’s Cemetery adorned their locations with lilacs, some purchased from the Lilac Gardens Committee on Open House days.

Downtown trees

When a second location was approved in Mayor Jim Flynn Park, and the volunteer group ‘Lilacs for Lindsay’ planted about 85 lilacs there, we became the ‘Lilac Gardens of Lindsay’.

Len's really proud of his acheivement

2002

In 2002, when judges from ‘Communities in Bloom’ toured the gardens, they highly commended the Lilac Gardens Committee volunteers for their extensive planting of more than 130 lilac varieties.

Visitors to the main garden began making  donations to dedicate a planted lilac to a loved one. Donations then began being made with the first plantings in the newly created ‘Memorial Walk’ which later transformed into a unique ‘Memory Walk’ allowing donations to dedicate a lilac along the walk for any special, memorable event. A certificate is presented and a marker may be placed at the chosen shrub.

                            New Memory Walk sign                                              Memory Walk details

2006

In 2006, Logie Street Park was now a dedicated park with lilac shrubs on view.

Dedicated Logie Street Park brightened

 

2007

In 2007, the Mayor of Lindsay proclaimed the lilac as the ‘Official Shrub of the City of Kawartha Lakes’ in recognition of  the achievements of the Lilac Gardens of Lindsay Volunteer Committee.

Blue Swallowtail Butterfly on lilac

As a member of the International Lilac Society, we began labeling to its standards. This method of identification enables recognition of species lilacs by visitors from the world over.

Name tag

A dedicated lilac shrub was planted as part of a ceremony to honour Harold James, an original founder.

Harold James being honoured as a founder SC

2008

“Before the trail”.

Not too accessible pre-trail April 24, 2008

2009

In 2009, a segment of the Trans-CanadaTrail provides accessibility to the lilacs as it passes between the newly created perennial Welcome Gardens.

                             Welcome Garden                        Gateway to the lilacs - early May 2011

Making the trail.

North end of park on Logie            Back to work after snow Trail            Trail ground to a halt            Making trail - meandering through Memory Walk

Bob Puffer receives his dedicated lilac, pictured with son Mike, original founders Len Shea & Bill Huskinson.

2009 Bob Puffer Founders' dedication

2010

In 2010, a Heroes garden was developed to honour the Military, the Police, Fire Service, and EMS, and was dedicated with a plaque in a Salute to Heroes ceremony.

Heroes bed with plaque

2011

Two originals - Tom, Dave    2011 shrub dedicated to Original founder Tom Huff with family

2012

Presentation of lilac to Bill Huskinson (2nd from right) one of original Lilacs for Lindsay committee. Each of the original members in turn is honoured at our open houses.

Bill festival

At 2012 Festival, Len was recognized by three levels of Government, each awarding an award of distinction.

Len with dignitaries afteracheivements awards presentation

Len scroll festival Award of merit      From MPP Laurie Scott Len scroll festival       From MP Barry Devolin Len scroll festival        From MP Barry Devolin Len scroll festival

2013

By 2013, many dedicated volunteers have helped develop this horticultural showplace. Showcasing close to 600 lilacs, 150 varieties, and 15 species, the Lilac Gardens of Lindsay has become a significant collection attracting many visitors each year.

Length of trail from North to South through lilac gardens in Logie Park satellite

 

On Saturday, September 14, 2013, aged 95, our founding member,  Leonard Joseph ‘Len’ Shea, passed away peacefully at home in Lindsay.

 

 

June 28, 1918 – September 14, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

2014

The bad spring weather and road conditions have delayed our work in the Gardens. Road work is affecting our access.

        

2016

New Trail Access – North End Logie St. Park
New Trail Access – South End Logie St. Park