Not all superheroes wear pink, but on the occasional early morning in downtown Kamsack, a valiant group of heroes – of the green thumb variety – don their customary pink T-shirts, pick up their weapons of choice and set out to fight any weed, pest or drought that threatens the precious flower beds that mark Kamsack as The Garden of Saskatchewan. And when those summer heat domes deliver a beating, the hose wielding band of caretakers step up to battle overtime in maintaining and quenching the thirsty soil.
As the story grows…in Kamsack days gone by, the site was once home to a formal English garden located alongside the railway track near the Canadian National (CN) Railway Station. It was said that a full-time CN Rail employee cared for the gardens that were admired by all that saw them. When CN reduced service in the community in the 1950s, the garden was left to become overgrown and unsightly.
The plot thickens…it was 1996 when an intrepid group of movers and shakers (or perhaps mowers and rakers) planted an idea called the Kamsack Beautification Project. Gloria Hunter, Helen MacFarlane and Ron Larson made it their goal to improve the overall appearance of the Kamsack community and grow a vision for what would become embedded in everyone’s hearts as The Trackside Garden.
It was early 1997 when the original weed fighters began by clearing the overgrown brush, placing topsoil, and adding crushed rocks and stones. It may have been rough around the hedges, but they took a leaf of faith and that’s where it all stemmed from.
Today, the legacy of landscapers protecting the garden continues. It’s kind of a big dill. These volunteers are responsible for all of the work of maintaining the gardens and the entire town is rooting for them.
In fact, there is work that goes on throughout the year to keep the gardens attractive. Each year, more projects are added to improve the gardens, and 2021 saw the donation of a picnic table and two benches from the Conductors and Brakemen UTU Local 1903 CN Railway. Memorial donations from local residents have funded most of the improvements and the hard-working volunteers are hoping thistle be the best year ever!