Colourful flowers along Fruitvale’s Main Street helped earned the village high praise from judges.

Colourful flowers along Fruitvale’s Main Street helped earned the village high praise from judges.

Communities in Bloom – Five blooms for Fruitvale

Flowers, volunteers and a new sports court helped Fruitvale capture the five-bloom award at the Communities in Bloom competition.

Flowers, volunteers and a new sports court helped Fruitvale capture the five-bloom award at the Communities in Bloom competition.

This past Saturday in Sooke, Fruitvale was announced the provincial winner for its category (1001-5000 population). In nine entries in the competition since 2001 this is the second five-bloom award given to the community, the last top-place finish was in 2009.

The Community in Blooms group for Fruitvale was the driving force for the village’s first place finish. Sharon Ewingf, the group’s president is proud of the community

“We’ve accomplished what we set out to do.

“Once we entered the Community in Bloom contest everyone got involved,” stated Ewingf.

The volunteer work done at the curling club, sports court and the Rotary Club opening a walking trail were all part of winning the five-bloom award.

This past year that group installed, “56 hanging baskets, 20 big planters, flower beds, and six new planters.”

Twenty-two volunteers focused their attention on the sports court in May and, with help from a School Community’s Connection Grant took on the project.

After two days of laying tile “a whole new

surface with three sports areas was installed,” stated Melissa Lyle, executive assistant Fruitvale council.

“It’s a lot more beautiful and the kids are loving it,” says Lyle.

The new sports area at the Fruitvale’s Elementary School consists of a ball hockey rink, tennis and basketball court. The area also has had new lights installed.

Lyle’s favorite part of this project “was to see all that help from the community,” and the “feedback from the community is very rewarding.”

For the winter Lyle hopes that a section of the sports area will be turned into a hockey rink.

Ten members make up Fruitvale’s  Communities in Bloom group “and we are all old,” said Ewingf.

The group meets once a week to weed and plant around Fruitvale. “Spouses usually get dragged along,” added Allan Rothwell, owner of Nipkow Greenhouse and spouse of Ewingf.

Fruitvale’s five bloom intentions started with, “a bunch of people getting together, friends really,” with the goal to, “clean up downtown and plant a couple of flowers,” saidRothwell.

For next year the group is already planning an upgrade for the village’s cemetery with fresh flowers and a monument.

The Communities in Bloom competition judges on eight criteria, ranging from floral displays to heritage conservation and environmental issues. After a community has been graded the results are represented in blooms, five being the highest possible score. Points are given to community involvement and even water and sewage treatment is considered.