Turf & Rec

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Communities in Bloom names its national finalists for 2015


May 29, 2015
By Mike Jiggens


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Communities in Bloom, a non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities, is entering its third decade.

Launched in Canada in 1995, the program began with 29 participating municipalities from across the country and has since ballooned into and event which now includes hundreds of Canadian communities as well as an international challenge involving communities from the United States, Asia and several European countries.

 

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Communities in Bloom consists of municipalities receiving information and being evaluated either provincially or nationally by a volunteer jury of trained professionals. Judgment is based on the accomplishments of an entire community (municipal, private, corporate and institutional sectors, citizens) on eight criteria, including tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and groundcovers, floral displays, and community involvement.

Participating communities tend to benefit financially from the program through community tourism initiatives, business opportunities for the entire community, and other related projects. Addtionally, an information exchange network becomes established to allow communities to share accomplishments, best practices and projects.

A national symposium on parks and grounds, to be held this year in Kamloops, BC, is held in conjunction with the annual national awards ceremonies. The event presents an opportunity for elected officials, parks and grounds professionals and community volunteers to learn and share about current issues, trends and challenges, not only in horticulture and gardening, but in community tourism and projects and environmental awareness. Workshops and awards ceremonies are also held in all provinces throughout the year.

The symposium will be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. Scheduled events include breakout sessions and technical visits, a fundraising golf tournament, social activities and speaker sessions.

The Communities in Bloom Foundation, established to support the educational aspect of its activities, is dedicated to funding, developing and disseminating education and awareness to a wide audience on the value, improvement, importance and sustainable development of green spaces and natural environment in Canadian society. The foundation also awards bursaries to students in horticulture or environment programs.

Participating municipalities for Communities in Bloom 2015 are:

Population up to 1,000
• Arnold’s Cove, NL
• Clinton, BC
• Kinistino, SK
• Valhalla Centre, AB

Population 1,001 to 4,500
• Bruderheim, AB
• Hanna, AB
• Indian Head, SK
• Sainte-Pétronille, QC
• Souris, PE
• Windsor, NS
• Witless Bay, NL

Population 4,501 to 9,000
• Bay Roberts, NL
• Carbonear, NL
• Humboldt, SK
• Kindersley, SK
• Perth, ON
• Stonewall, MB
• Vegreville, AB

Population 9,001 to 20,000
• Essex, ON
• Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
• South Huron, ON
Population 20,001 to 50,000
• Dieppe, NB
• Mission, BC
• West Kelowna & Westbank First Nation, BC

Population more than 50,000
• Drummondville, QC
• Maple Ridge, BC

Class of Champions (small category)
• Antigonish, NS
• Ashcroft, BC
• Millet, AB
• Pincher Creek, AB
• Sussex, NB
• Tignish, PE

Class of Champions (medium category)
• Beaumont, AB
• Brooks, AB
• Castlegar, BC
• Summerside, PE

Class of Champions (large category)
• Charlottetown, PE
• Leduc, AB
• Westmount, QC
• Wood Buffalo, AB

International Challenge (small category)
• Cehnice, Czech Republic
• Glenarm Village, Northern Ireland
• Fogo, NL
• Sun Rivers Resort Community, BC

International Challenge (medium category)
• Ahoghill, Northern Ireland
• Estes Park, CO
• Jasper, AB
• Stettler, AB
• Trail, BC

International Challenge (large category)
• Calabasas, CA
• Cervia, Italy
• Fort Erie, ON
• Kilkenny, Ireland
• Rosemère, QC

International Challenge (very large category)
• Chatham-Kent, ON
• Sarnia, ON
• Zlin, Czech Republic
• Antalya, Turkey*
• Seongbuk-gu Seoul, South Korea*
* non competitive

Grand Champions
• Barrie, ON
• Boissevain-Morton, MB
• Strathcona County, AB
Circle of Excellence (evaluated)
• Calgary, AB
• Edmonton, AB)
• Goderich, ON
• Granby, QC
• St. John’s, NL
• Stratford, ON
• Yarmouth, NS
• Sydney, NS

Circle of Excellence (non-evaluated)
• Aylmer, ON
• Brandon, MB
• Dauphin, MB
• Denzil, SK
• Forestburg, AB
• Gibbons, AB
• Hampton, NB
• Kamloops, BC
• Killarney-Turtle Mountain, MB
• Lambton Shores, ON
• Minto, ON
• Medicine Hat, AB
• New Glasgow, NS
• Olds, AB
• Oshawa, ON
• Pugwash, NS
• Vermilion, AB
• Whitby, ON

Special Attractions
• Commission des champs de bataille nationaux, QC
• International Peace Garden, MB
• Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens, Grand-Métis, QC
• Ukrainian Heritage Village, Edmonton, AB