The 2019 Red Deer County Rural Beautification Tour will head east this year on July 24. Photo contributed by Red Deer County

Sneak peak: Take a tour of Red Deer County’s best backyards, acreages and gardens

You can snoop around people’s backyards without any guilt while on a tour of Red Deer County’s most beautiful gardens.

The 2019 Red Deer County Rural Beautification Tour is heading east this year, focusing on the Elnora, Delburne and Pine Lake areas.

Those who join in on July 24 will be able to look at five county properties, including small acreages, large acreages, working farms and agriculture tourism/businesses.

Every year the tour is different because people decorate in various ways, said Sylvia Bolkowy, community services assistant with Red Deer County.

Some choose to put in water fountains and gazebos, others build trails and put up signs highlighting the grass or birds found along the trails.

“Everyone has it so uniquely done. Maybe different trees, shrubs and all the flowers, and just how well they have managed them, how they choose to decorate their yard.

“Some of them will have antiques, some will have quirky things, some of them will use old fencing for their fence and it fits right in with where they are,” said Bolkowy.

The tour, which has been going on for about 35 years, is popular with people in Red Deer, Innisfail, Bowden and Red Deer County.

Bolkowy said about 100 people turn up every year and fill two buses that take them around to the properties.

Some of the property owners nominate themselves, while the names of others are put forward by their friends or family.

“Someone would say to them ‘put your property up,’ so some will do it based on what other people have said to them. This year, I have a daughter who nominated her parents’ place,” said Bolkowy.

A brief, informal award ceremony follows the guided tour, which takes up most of the day. The winners are given a gate sign and a beautification trophy they get to keep for a year.

“Their beautification accomplishments are recognized,” said Bolkowy.

Those who attend are able to gather ideas by looking around and by talking to others on the tour, as well as the property owners.

Tickets are available at

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The 2019 Red Deer County Rural Beautification Tour will head east this year on July 24. Photo contributed by Red Deer County

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