Trail hosted two judges from the Communities in Bloom International committee to make notes about the city's hard work in the small town category of the international competition. On the left

International judges tour Trail

“We went and visited sites by the river and Tadanac and it is just beautiful.” Lucie Gagné, Communities in Bloom

With all the dust, caution tape and construction around downtown, it may not seem like the ideal time to have Communities in Bloom judges in Trail.

But according to one of the visiting judges, it isn’t hurting the city’s chances in the international competition.

“They are making improvements,” said judge Piet Boersma from the Netherlands. “In the end, I think it is better for the city as a whole.”

According to the Boersma and his fellow judge, Lucie Gagné from Boucherville, Quebec, they got a great first impression while in Trail on Wednesday.

“We went and visited sites by the river and Tadanac and it is just beautiful,” said Gagné.

“I think the people here are very aware of the landscape they have. There are a lot of trees, a lot of diversity, a lot of flower beds and a lot of baskets. They’ve done a great job throughout the years, making this place a great and tidy place to live and work in.”

Gagné made a note of how many projects the Trail in Bloom and city organizations have taken on in the last few years, exemplifying the message behind Communities in Bloom.

“This is what Communities in Bloom is all about – getting the people to work together towards the same goal and it seems that it works perfectly here,” she said.

There was one aspect of Trail that stood out to the two visiting judges and it was something they hadn’t encountered in any of the cities they had visited on their trip.

“You have something really special here that I haven’t seen anywhere else – the staircases. This is new for me. This is really something special,” said Gagné. “You have a lot to show people here. We are really proud with what we see.”

Another aspect that stood out to Boersma was the hospitality he has felt from the people of Trail.

“Everyone is very nice here,” he said.

“I think that when you have enthusiastic people around, it works well. I think that if someone is not enthusiastic, then it stops.”

As for how Trail shapes up against our competition and neighbour, Castlegar?

“You’ll have to wait until September to find out,” said Gagné with a smile.

Boersma agreed.

“Are you trying to get us to tell secrets?” asked Boersma while laughing.

The final results in the small category of the international competition will be announced in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Sept. 17 at the awards ceremonies.

Trail is up against Castlegar, the Community of Fogo in Newfoundland, Jasper, Killarney-Turtle in Manitoba, Moynalty Village in Ireland and Stettler, Alberta.

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