Tag Archive for: marigolds

25th Anniversary June 2023

The Marigold Project, Saint John Telegraph 2012

Saint John Telegraph Journal ad 2012

The Marigolds Project Guinness Book of World Records

Seeds Sown for World Record Attempt

The Marigold Project Telegraph Journal 2013

The Marigold Project Telegraph Journal 2013

The ad in the Saint John Telegraph Journal, 2013.

The Marigold Project Telegraph Journal 2013

Marigold Award 2011

Marigold Award 2011

The Marigold Project, Saint John Telegraph 2012

Saint John Telegraph Journal

The ad in the Saint John Telegraph Journal, 2012. Click on the image  to view the PDF version.

Barry Odgen and The Marigold Project, Saint John

Barry’s inspiration

Barry Ogden’s first marigold garden in 1968 was planted outside his family’s motel on Manawagonish Road, Saint John West, Balmoral Court.

He was 12 years old.

Marigolds in Saint John

The Marigold Man

Plant Day 2012, The Marigold Project in Saint John

A community grows from tiny seeds

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
Sat Jun 11 2011
Page: A9
Section: Opinion
Saint John’s Marigold Project is rooted in a simple premise: that the seeds of good citizenship must be planted and nurtured for communities to grow.
Under its auspices, more than 1,000 elementary school students planted 40,000 marigolds in the city this week. Overnight, the look of historic Saint John has been beautified for the fourteenth time in as many years.
This is how you build a community – by engaging children and youth in making it better, from the street level on up.
The project began with local teacher and community leader Barry Ogden, and Bernie Morrison, of the city’s leisure services department.
They were looking for ways to beautify the city while engaging local children and youth.
From humble beginnings, it has grown to include 55 sites across two school districts.
The Marigold Project’s success can been seen in the enormous support it attracts, and the respect it has generated. Across Saint John, the planting program has been emulated by neighbourhood associations, include ONE change, which hosts all-age community cleanups. Schools have branched out from planting flowers to painting murals that commemorate the city’s past.
The project’s first student participants are now attending colleges and universities, while a new generation of students is tending the city’s curbside gardens, alongside municipal and provincial politicians and community volunteers.
With each flower that they plant, they are learning what people working together can accomplish, from beautifying a city to building a better province. Thank you, children of Saint John. 
The Marigolds Project banner

They’re back; Beautification Marigolds bloom again on Main

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
Fri Jun 10 2011

SAINT JOHN – It was long past dawn, but that didn’t stop the colours of sunrise from spreading across Main Street on Thursday morning.

It was the 14th annual Marigold Project on Main Street. More than 1,000 elementary school children took to the north end thoroughfare to plant 40,000 of the bright flowers.

Thursday also marked the presentation of the first Marigold Awards, designed to recognize outstanding Saint Johners dedicated to helping local children. Debbie Cooper, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Saint John, and J.K. Irving, for his work with Partners Assisting Local Schools, received the inaugural awards.

Jim Irving, who accepted the award on behalf of his father, said it was “great to see all these young people here who take such pride in the city, planting flowers. It’s a great lesson in looking after things and civic pride. It’s great that (organizer) Barry Ogden and the rest of all these folks take such time with school teachers and young people to make sure it’s done properly.”

Cooper said the Marigold Project is a “phenomenal program” that has attracted worldwide attention. Earlier in the ceremony, provincial cabinet minister Trevor Holder, MLA for Saint John Portland, told the crowd about buses carrying cruise ship passengers slowing so the tourists could photograph the sea of flowers that have become a Saint John landmark.

Cooper said it was nice to be recognized for her efforts at the Boys and Girls Club.

“You certainly don’t do the kind of work that I do to be recognized. It’s all about the children and youth,” she said.

Cooper and Irving planted the first marigolds near the top of Main Street.

Then the children dug in.

With pop music blaring from the loudspeakers, marigold planters marched to their assigned sections and rolled their sleeves up. Some donned gardening gloves, while others let the dirt squish between their fingers.

“It’s so smooth,” Alexandra Collrin, who is in kindergarten at Centennial School, said as she rubbed her soil-covered hands together. She called the marigolds beautiful and simply said people will think they’re “perfect.”

T.J. Foster, a Grade 5 student at Centennial, has his own reasons for liking the Marigold Project.

“I think that it’s really fun because for once you don’t get in trouble for getting dirty and you get to help plant some flowers so the town looks prettier,” he said.

Hannah Adams, also a Grade 5 student, said marigolds are “pretty awesome” and praised their bright red and orange colouring.

“I feel it’s great for the community to have a beautiful city,” she said.

For some children, the annual event isn’t just a chance to get out of the classroom and get their hands dirty, it’s a time to do something they love.

Ashley Vicars, a Grade 3 student at Princess Elizabeth School, gardens at home with her mother and grandmother. “It’s fun and I like planting things,” she said.

Roughly 2.3 million marigolds have been planted since the tradition began in 1997. Planting has also spread from Main Street to 55 sites across School Districts 6 and 8.

The Marigold Project is designed to inspire civic pride and beautify the city. Ogden, a local school teacher and activist, started the event, along with Bernie Morrison of the city’s leisure services department, with these themes in mind.

“It’s another great day, another great year. Everybody was worried about rain and the marigolds always bring the sun out,” Ogden said, standing back to watch planters dig in.

He also plans on presenting the Marigold Awards for years to come. The awards will be displayed at Centennial School.

When Ogden first began the Marigold Project he knew it would be a long-term effort.

“We now have close to a generation of kids that have done this,” he said. “It’s going to change the community.”