THE Mirboo North community joined forces to add a sparkle and shine to their town before Christmas.
More than 40 people turned out for the Christmas Meet Up… and Clean Up on Saturday, November 28, coordinated by the Revitalising Ridgway working group within Mirboo Country Development Inc (MCDI).
Vacant streets were washed down, Christmas decorations hung, town bollards painted, and lichen stripped from pavers in the spring clean working bee.
More than 30 beautiful wine barrel planter boxes gifted to the town from the Mirboo North and District Community Bank as part of its 10th birthday celebrations were installed and planted with a cottage-style combination of hardy perennials, herbs and annuals from The Town Centre Nursery.
The barrels will be maintained and refreshed seasonally with the ongoing support of the Mirboo North and District Community Bank and the hands-on skills of the recently formed permaculture group.
A spokesperson for MCDI said the weekend’s activity was the first step in what promised to be a big year for the tight-knit little community because like many small towns, Mirboo North had felt the pinch of changing work and shopping habits, resulting in empty shops and tired public spaces.
“This trend is not new, but if nothing else, COVID-19 restrictions have helped us to appreciate how important community really is and we’ve begun to see a lot of interest in moving from the city to smaller regional communities,” the spokesperson said.
The Christmas Meet Up… and Clean Up was the first step in a broader strategy from MCDI’s Revitalising Ridgway group to support local businesses and attract new business investment by restoring pride in the main street, so that it comes to reflect the vibrancy and resilience of the community.
Judging by the smiles of volunteers, positive comments from visitors, and the connections formed, the opportunity to get together and get involved brought the community together after a difficult year.
The day’s events were rounded out at the Mirboo North and District Community Foundation, sharing refreshments donated by local businesses include sausages from Craig Young Butchers, bread from Strzelecki Bakery, platters from Jimmy Jambs and beer from RACV Solar – with a toast to a very different Christmas in the Boo and a much brighter 2021.