Another bloomin’ success for Trail

No title but city earns coveted five-bloom rating from judges

A five-bloom rating and an overall increase in score wasn’t enough for the Home of Champions to win gold in this year’s international Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition.

Bill Garnett, CiB head horticulturist, attended the awards ceremony in Ottawa last week, which had Trail pitted against neighbouring Castlegar; Pembroke, Ont; Citta di Savigliano, Cueno (Italy); and Sidmouth, Deven (UK) in the international division.

“We did maintain our five-bloom rating,” confirmed Garnett by phone from Vancouver. “But we lost out to the winning city of Pembroke and the runner up from a town in Italy.”

Garnett was stranded at the Vancouver airport due to flight cancellations, and said he hadn’t yet studied the full CiB judging report and could not elaborate with further details.

For the first time, Castlegar faced off against the Silver City in the international competition for a population under 10,000 and was elated to receive a five-bloom rating, said Lisa Lesy on behalf of CiB volunteer Darlene Kalawsky.

This was Trail’s last chance to compete at the international level in the competition that fosters civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement. A city can enter internationally for three years, then must drop back into the competition at the provincial and national level and climb its way back up, according to CiB rules.

Trail has kept its standards high for over a decade, scoring the maximum five-bloom rating for 10 of the 11 years it’s competed in the competition that invites judges into communities to rate criteria like tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation and urban forestry.

Before the city qualified to enter the competition at an international level it had to work its way up the ranks by winning the national category in 2006 and 2010.