Jubilee Park gardens were a hit with CiB judges last year. Trail will be pitted against past winners this summer.

Jubilee Park gardens were a hit with CiB judges last year. Trail will be pitted against past winners this summer.

Trail up against cream of the crop this summer

Healthy competition keeps the flowers blooming in Trail, says Dan Rodlie.

Healthy competition keeps the flowers blooming in Trail, says Dan Rodlie.

After 13 years of growing the city’s beauty and winning accolades nationally and beyond, Trail Community in Bloom (TiB) volunteers are hoping to keep up the momentum this summer by going head-to-head with past winners from the Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition.

Fresh off a big win in the last year’s CiB International (medium) category, and another five-bloom rating, the group is ready for a new CiB challenge called the Class of Champions.

Rodlie sought council endorsement for TiB to enter the 2016 National Edition of Communities in Bloom during the Monday night regular meeting.

“We do have some choices,” he began.

Those being, a non-competitive Circle of Excellence category that gives municipalities two options: registering nationally and being evaluated to confirm bloom ratings; or registering nationally and foregoing evaluation, instead relying on local CiB initiatives to maintain bloom ratings.

“The fees are the same for all of these,” Rodlie continued, mentioning that CiB judging is required every three years for relevance. “But if you don’t maintain your integrity in the program, we definitely could lose points, and when they (CiB judges) come back again, we may not be able to manage and something could slide.”

Council unanimously agreed to support the competition, having advanced the group pre-budget approval for $110,000 earlier this year. Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson asked Rodlie if CiB judges are looking for anything specific in Trail this year.

“One thing they have eluded to…is natural history,” Rodlie replied. “How we show our history outside of museums, like the rock walls and sports history outside the Red Floor.

“We have to take advantage of that and we have some good ideas.”