Volunteers finish makeover of Duncan street that previously saw problems

Volunteers finish makeover of Duncan street that previously saw problems
Kendall Hanson/CHEK News

A Duncan street has gotten a big makeover the last four days.

The project is called “love your community one street at a time”, and it’s the final push to transform Duncan’s Whistler street into a safe place for shop owners, customers and neighbours.

The effort started with a crew cleaning the area every morning and the vision has grown to see businesses painted, planters revamped and a fence preventing through traffic.

The painting started last fall but poor weather delayed the completion until the volunteer effort and weather combined this week.

“Now it’s back to being this beautiful, vibrant street and it’s safe and it’s clean and it’s everything we wanted to do when we started ‘love your community one at a time,'” said Cathy Schmidt, a volunteer and member of the Cowichan Clean Up Crew.

A driving force has been Doug MacKenzie who grew up in Duncan and has returned from Kelowna to quarterback the vision to reality.

“I believe if we start now we can make Duncan where it isn’t too out of control like Victoria or Nanaimo where we can take the community, keep the community and keep the grassroots of respect back in the community,” said MacKenzie.

Numerous businesses have contributed financially or by providing in other ways including the Rotary Club of Duncan, whose members have been involved all four days this week.

“We got wind of it a month or two ago and decided to give a helping hand from Rotary,” said Michael Lee, one of the Rotary volunteers.

The owner of Experience Cycling says the street has become much safer in large part due to a fence blocking through traffic. The community raised $5-thousand dollars to buy it with matching funds from the city.

“With my cameras, I would just monitor it and we were getting anywhere from 120 to 200 people a night walking through here and it just changed the whole dynamics. The graffiti stopped, the defecation, the urination, the garbage,” said Will Arnold, Owner of Experience Cycling and volunteer.

The transformation is revitalizing the Duncan street into a welcoming space.

Now, these volunteers are hoping the blueprint from this project will be followed to beautify other streets in the city.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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