Sponsored scarecrows

Creative scarecrows flying out of Langley nursery

A Port Kells garden centre fosters creativity in the form of fall garden ornaments.

A few of Rebecca van der Zalm’s friends have come into her family’s nursery in the past few weeks, anxious to make up “mini-me” scarecrows resembling their boyfriends or husbands.

It’s a new take on banishing the boys to the doghouse, she said. These men – or their look-a-likes, at least – are being erected in the gardens, instead. In some cases, it’s seen as a form of punishment and – in at least one case – it was a tribute to a gardener– “you decide,” said van der Zalm.

She chuckled at who her nursery’s Build-A-Crow project for charity is attracting, and she’s elated with how many people have sought out the chance to build scarecrows and help out local organizations.

With more than two weeks until Halloween, they’ve already seen more scarecrows “birth” at the nursery this year, than during the inaugural Build-A-Crow run in fall 2015.

With more than 200 already “born” at the nursery, she’s optimistic they could double last year’s fundraising total of $2,000.

She’s had daycares and kids’ groups, such as Brownies, come in.

She’s watched as many grandparents have brought in their grandkids to share in the building process.

And van der Zalm has even fielded inquiries about hosting a birthday party centred around building scarecrows.

All great ideas, she said, noting it helps three local organizations: the Versatiles entertainment troupe, L’Arche Canada (a day program and housing for people with developmental challenges), and the Semiahmoo Animal League.

Build-A-Crow costs a minimum $10 donation (that is earmarked for any one of, or all of the three charities). With that donation, builders are provided with a wooden frame, straw, and burlap head, as well as some expert scarecrow building advice, tools, and equipment necessary.

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Guests, however, must bring their own old clothes and decorating accessories.

For ideas, guests can also view more than 60 scarecrows – of all different sizes, shapes, and designs – that are set up throughout the Port Kells garden centre. These are scarecrows made up last month by – or for – local businesses.

There’s a lacrosse player, Pete the Dragon, a dog, cat, pig, Loch Ness monster, a Ninja Turtle, a buddha, a golf player, and a Hawaiian girl, to name a few of this year’s scarecrows. That initiative was also part of the fundraising effort, van der Zalm explained.

The sponsored scarecrows will remain on display until Oct. 31, and the Build-A-Crow station will be available through until Halloween, as well, van der Zalm said. Art’s Nursery is located at  8940 192nd St.

van der Zalm said she’s “shocked” and “impressed” by the creativity of many young crow builders and how their able to create some incredible scarecrows using things like staples for eyes and pipe cleaner for hair.

“These kids are pretty creative,” she said. “And, I’ve gotta tell ya, it’s been really fun to watch.”


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