Turf & Rec

News
Communities in Bloom celebrates 15 years


July 2, 2009
By Mike Jiggens

Communities in Bloom, a Canada-wide program which fosters civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement, is celebrating its 15th season this year. thumb_communiities-in-bloom-logoTurf & Recreation was a founding sponsor of the program which has grown considerably since its inaugural year in 1995.

Communities in Bloom (CiB) is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program. Celebrating its 15th edition in 2009, the Communities in Bloom program is dedicated to promoting the value of plants, trees and green spaces in urban settings, and encourages Canadian communities of all sizes to improve quality of life through community engagement and sustainable development.

In 2009, hundreds of Canadian communities are participating in the national and provincial editions of the program, and municipalities from England, Scotland, Ireland and Japan are taking part in the International Challenge.

In July and August, qualified volunteer CiB judges will visit participating communities and evaluate each one on its overall performance in the following areas: tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas, floral displays, and turf & groundcovers. The evaluation is based on the local conditions and achievements of citizens, businesses, organizations, institutions and the municipal government working together towards common objectives. The detailed evaluation reports identify each community's strengths, and provide suggestions for improvement. The communities become part of an extensive information exchange network with other participants in a dynamic and rewarding process for continuous improvement.

Advertisement

The results, including annual bloom ratings, criteria award recognitions and winners, will be announced at the National Awards Ceremonies, hosted this year by the City of Vaughan, Ont. on Oct. 2 and 3, in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Awards. The concurrent 12th edition of the National Symposium on Parks and Grounds will offer conference sessions, workshops and technical visits on the theme of Biodiversity at Stake in the Urban Environment from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Provincial Editions also hold their respective Award Ceremonies and workshops in the fall.

WinterLights Celebrations (WLC), the winter edition of Communities in Bloom, held its eighth edition in 2008-2009.  the program, which focuses on winter activities, programming, visual presentation and outreach, recognizes the efforts of communities that sustain environmental, visual, economic, programming and tourism leadership throughout the winter months. The results of this past edition were announced in Prince George, British Columbia on Feb. 21, 2009. Next year's edition of the WLC Symposium and Awards will be held in Charlottetown, P.E.I., from March 4-6, 2010.

To support the educational aspect of its activities, the organization established the Communities in Bloom Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to education and research in the area of green spaces and their positive impact on our society. For more information on the activities of the Foundation, call (514) 694-8871.

For further information on the program, visit http://www.communitiesinbloom.ca and http://www.winterlights.ca.