Dan Rodlie

Dan Rodlie

Communities in Bloom judges’ recommendations shared with council

Dan Rodlie presented the CiB evaluation to Trail council Monday night, and reviewed the highs and lows of how the city presented.

Trail definitely has a European feel, but should elevate the uniqueness of the historical covered staircases and promote local culture, according to a blooming judge.

Dan Rodlie, Trail Communities in Bloom (CiB) chair presented the lengthy evaluation form to council Monday night, and discussed the highs and lows of how the city presented during the judges visit in July for the international CiB competition.

Trail did maintain its five-bloom rating, which is essentially the maximum amount of points, and upped the overall mark to 85.1 per cent in the category of population under 10,000.

Rodlie conferred with one of this year’s judges, Belgium’s Alain Cappelle, earlier in the day to review the Silver City’s score and referred to those comments during the meeting.

The judges acknowledged the Avenue of the Clans along the Gyro Park walkway, a project that highlighted Trail’s Scottish heritage, and the musical heritage of the Trail Maple Leaf Band and Pipe Band, two of the oldest bands in Canada, both whom performed during their stay.

The covered staircases throughout the city impressed both Capelle, and fellow judge England’s Bob Ivison, and they recommend the city preserve, well maintain and if possible extend the network to link more of Trail’s natural assets, thereby increasing recreational and health benefits.

Although Trail did receive special recognition for heritage conservation, the city lost points in tidiness, specifically related to the Rossland Avenue corridor, explained Rodlie.

“Also, there are untidy hot spots specifically where people congregate,” he said, adding, “but we have put them on our hit list and will get them looked after, especially the stairs.”

The visiting judges attended the Trail Market in downtown Trail, and mentioned to Rodlie that there is a lack of recycling bins in the city, in particular a designated receptacle for newspaper, and a separate bin for pop cans.

“He asked me where to put the newspaper he was holding in his hand that day,” said Rodlie. “But there was nowhere to put it and these were the things they looked at.”

Another glaring miss, according to the judge, was the absence of information about tourism in Trail, especially related to a certain garden tour.

“He said Trail was accepted to be on the Via Rail garden route across Canada this year,” said Rodlie. “But there was no information, nothing presented in our local area. Not promoting that was a minus for us.”

The judges did acknowledge the transformation Trail has made in the last two decades, citing, “from industrial boom to colourful bloom,” however, they recommended the city move forward in collaboration with Teck’s expertise on greenery and environmental sustainability.

“Join with Teck for promotion of sound ecological plant choices and natural scheme designs,” cites the judge’s report.

“Including the garden and the greenery at the high school,” said Rodlie. “We need to use that to our advantage because we are a little behind in that area.”

Further recommendations include an increase in the proportion of xeriscapes (garden or landscape created in a style that requires little or no irrigation or other maintenance) in the city and use of drought tolerant species in future projects.