Sault community groups host outreach initiative in Jamestown

A large community outreach initiative is taking place in Sault Ste. Marie's Jamestown area this week.

The event, organized by The ArtsSpeaks Project and City of Sault Ste. Marie, invites residents to take part in painting, planting and other tasks to help spruce up the neighbourhood.

It also gives some an up close and personal view of some special insects, with a visit from Entomica Insectarium.

"We wanted to remove the barriers for those who are unable to visit us at the Bushplane Centre," said Jessica Fischer, Entomica board member. "We want them to know that we care about them, we see them, we're going to come to you if you can't come to us."

Fischer said Entomica will be participating in the Jamestown revitalization plan next year, with its Entomica Connects program. It will see the non-profit education group construct a pollinator bed and other initiatives that will help the area.

"For us, it's all about creating growth in this neighbourhood and giving back," Fischer said.

Tuesday's event also saw members of the city and Sault police attend, in an effort to meet and speak with residents.

"The more people to a community, the happier, the more collective we become and that just increases public safety all around," said Sault Police chief Hugh Stevenson.

Jamestown has been devastated by two recent murders in the city, which both took place in the area.

It's also been at the forefront of addictions and mental health-related issues for years.

For resident Janet Gough, she said recent tragedies inspired her to create memorials for all of those who've died in the city.

"It's not even something I wanted to do, but in my heart, it says, these people need to be remembered," Gough said.

She has carved out crosses with the names of those who've died on them, and intends to put them up in the area.

Gough also made two memorials for the recent homicide victims.

"Thing's like this, it helps take away from the negativity," Gough said. "It's about community, togetherness, it's about getting along with people."

Residents have also been invited to write messages on some of the canvases put up in flowerbeds along James Street.

The event wraps up Wednesday afternoon.