Sunday, September 24, 2023

Thoughts on Scarecrows

Dear Editor,

I’ve been visiting Meaford over the past several days. It’s been so impressive and delightful to see such great community spirit and involvement by businesses, residents and volunteers in the community to create the Scarecrow Festival. What a wonderful atmosphere all around town that seems to have everyone engaged and excited to celebrate the approaching fall. This not only is an attraction for visiting tourists but also a tremendous opportunity for businesses and the public to connect.

Since being here I did read your editorial about your environmental concerns with the possible waste associated with the construction of scarecrows. I found this rather puzzling after speaking with people who constructed them and found out things like the plastic bags used to hold the stuffing newspapers are in fact recycled bags from newspapers that were delivered and the used bags collected for this purpose, bags that would have ended up in the landfill anyway. The clothing also used and many times cut up and used for rags then thrown away. So in fact these used clothing articles were repurposed.

Sure there may be improvements or suggestions. A possibility could be replacing the garden hose with flexible lengths of pvc pipe thin enough to flex the amount required and slide out afterwards for reuse the following year. Also using connectors for joints and shorter pieces. Steven I see in your photo there is an ever growing stack of old newspapers behind you, maybe next year you could donate them for the scarecrow build, they’d serve a second purpose then, better than piling up on a shelf. These are fantastic creative scarecrows and no reason they can’t continue. A bunch of plywood cutouts are certainly not going to have anywhere near the charm that the current project brings to this amazing town. I hope when I return to Meaford I find the scarecrows still hanging around town.

Best Wishes to all who work so hard on great community projects, your town is stunning.

Melinda Jones, Sherwood Park, Alberta

Editor’s Note: As for your suggestion that we donate our excess newspapers to the scarecrow builders, we do, though it is with some level of guilt as those excess newspapers would typically go to a recycling facility, while our newspapers stuffed into the bodies of scarecrows end up in a landfill. As one of the sponsors of the event, and a supplier of one of the components inside of those scarecrows, the environmental impact of the event is certainly a concern for me as we all work to reduce our impact on the environment.

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