A Long History of Serving the Town of Orleans Through the Funding of Special Projects and Events
In the fall of 1985, four Orleans women met at Le Gourmet to address the physical character of our Town. They knew that Orleans should be more than a “pass through” community. So began over a quarter century history of contributions by the Orleans Improvement Association (OIA) to enhance the character of the Town - working to make Orleans a destination, welcoming to both residents and visitors.
OIA’s first large project, was the installation of the brick sidewalks in downtown Orleans. Today, you can now meander down these sidewalks and discover an oasis called Parish Park, another OIA contribution to the Town. Designed in 1988 by an OIA board member, the Park was once a muddy parking lot in front of the Town Annex. Explore a little further to enjoy the water view vistas from Window on the Cove and Meadow on the Cove, two more projects supported by OIA. With OIA funding, the invasive species in Meadow on the Cove were replaced with a field of native wildflowers. If you enjoy cycling, take in the plantings and rest spots along the bike path or just drive around Town and appreciate the "Welcome" signs and the plantings OIA has contributed over the years.
Each year, OIA brings the light and cheer of the Holiday Season to Orleans. Around the Village Green, OIA volunteers install the backdrop of glittering snowflakes and twinkling lights purchased with OIA funds. Village merchants decorate their store fronts to add to the warmth of the season and hope to win the OIA-sponsored decorating contest.
Most recently, OIA’s challenge grant of $10,000 encouraged an outpouring of volunteer and financial support to build a new playground at the Orleans Elementary School.
How do we support our work – through income from our projects, sponsorships from local businesses and donations from supporters like you. For 25 years, the annual Garden Tour remains our largest project with Orleans residents generously showcasing their gardens each June. The tour reveals the remarkable diversity of gardens in Orleans. Over the years thousands of garden lovers have made this event the largest fundraiser for OIA -- and they eagerly await each year’s tour.
This year, OIA is hosting its first ever "Art of Cooking" fundraiser in October. Four local Chefs will demonstrate their recipes in lovely, private Orleans kitchens. Each ticket holder will get to taste delectable appetizers and desserts with wine pairings suggested by Main Street Wine and Gourmet. The day will close with a floral design demonstration by an award winnning floral designer and fabulous door prizes. Tickets will entitle holders to discounted dinners at local restaurants. We hope this becomes another anticipated annual event.
Throughout the year, Orleans businesses, residents and visitors benefit from OIA’s commitment to assure that the Town conveys an attractive and welcoming presence to all. We hope you appreciate our contributions and will assist us in moving forward with new and exciting projects. Write to us -- we welcome your ideas.