Trail may have a trump card against national competitors when Communities in Bloom (CiB) judges arrive next week to give the city a once-over.
This is the first year the Trail Riverfront Centre will be part of the summer tour. The new museum and public library will certainly play a key role in the heritage category, which is one of six features the judges will be focusing on.
Heritage covers a broad scope of interest that looks at biodiversity of native flora and fauna as well as mortar and bricks. More so, the category includes cultural conservation and preserving the legacy of tangible elements like buildings and artifacts as well as the intangible such as local customs and traditions.
A little further south is the newly expanded Community Food Bank Garden, which is another feature that could boost the city’s marks.
“Community gardens are huge,” says Coun. Carol Dobie. “The fact that we’ve moved ours to a larger location allowing for more growth, and now that we’ve moved, we are allowing people to have their own little garden,” she said.
“So it’s the expansion and the development of a community garden to incorporate as many people as we can, not just for the food banks but for the individual homeowner who doesn’t have a big enough plot of land to plant a little garden.”
When Canadian judges Cliff Lacey and Cynthia Boyd tour the Silver City July 26, they’ll be sizing up Trail against Castlegar, Ashcroft, and Knistino, SK in the Class of Champions, small category.
Before evaluation day, Coun. Dobie and the city are asking homeowners and tenants to spiff up their yards and boulevards, because the heart of the program is to foster community pride and spirit.
“I don’t think people recognize the value in us being in Communities in Bloom and what it does for the city,” Dobie said, mentioning the program’s international impact. “It’s not just about planting flowers and making your city beautiful … it’s the fact that we are looking at our stewardship role in our local environment in terms of what we plant, how we plant, where we plant and the importance of trees in our area, that’s such a big issue,” she added.
“And we are beautifying our city when we do all this.”
The judges are scheduled to arrive in Trail July 25, evaluate the following day, and leave July 27.
In addition to the design and maintenance of floral displays, the criteria falls into categories that include tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscapes.
The judges look at how well parks and green spaces are maintained, but they also note things like litter, graffiti and if the community supports vandalism deterrent programs. They’ll evaluate factors like human activities on the environment and community efforts like policies and bylaws for waste reduction, landfill diversion, composting sites and other stewardship programs that guide principals of sustainable development in green spaces.
Finally, aspects of landscape such as use of parks, year round or otherwise, are looked at as well as tree replacement policies and pollinator-friend tree selection.
This year’s award ceremony is slated from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29 in Strathcona County, AB.