From the left; Nang Xayasomphou and Gail Winters spruce up the flower beds that welcome people to the Home of Champions.

From the left; Nang Xayasomphou and Gail Winters spruce up the flower beds that welcome people to the Home of Champions.

COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM – Judges set to tour Trail this month

Communities in Bloom judges will be looking at more than just flowers when they arrive in Trail on July 17.

Communities in Bloom judges will be looking at more than just flowers when they arrive in Trail on July 17.

Lana Rodlie, spokesperson for Trail Community in Bloom, says that though the flowers play a vital role, there are many other aspects to the competition.

“The judges will look at about 75 per cent of the city and will base their score on what they see,” explained Rodlie.

Two judges will be visiting, eager to inspect, review and rate all aspects of what the City of Trail has to offer.

A 10-page brochure will be assembled containing a condensed version of everything the city has done this year. The brochure, created by the Trail committee, will showcase everything from citywide events to environmental efforts.

The brochure will also include city budgets, which will show the judges how much Trail spends on particular areas.

The criterion is divided into six different categories, and many factors are taken into consideration.

The tidiness effort is an exceedingly important category. Keeping everything from the sidewalks to store fronts clean and presentable is something all citizens can help out with.

“Where we lose the most points is in our tidiness, especially in some areas downtown,” noted Rodlie. “Everyone can help simply by putting their garbage away properly and not tossing their cigarette butts and gum on the ground.”

The city’s environmental efforts will be looked at closely. Things like Trail’s composting and recycling programs are regarded as pluses.

Factors such as water usage and utilization of pesticides are taken into consideration. The environmental efforts of Teck and other businesses will also be included.

Trail is home to 54 parks and green spaces. The upkeep of these parks is very important, and everything from lawn mowing to the actual usage of the parks will be considered.

The city supports a wide variety of environmental programs.

“We have animal catch and release programs including the sturgeon release program, as well as things like battery recycling,” said Rodlie.

Trail’s efforts in heritage preservation will certainly be applauded.

Judges will see things like the celebration of the 61’ Smoke Eaters, the upkeep and preservation of historical buildings and rock walls, as well as the large murals that now grace the walls of the arena.

The Rotary Club’s planting of thousands of trees in the area will boost marks in the Urban Forestry category. Teck has also planted many trees along the riverbanks adding not only to the appearance, but also the environmental consciousness of the city.

The abundance of flower displays seen around the city has certainly made things feel bright and colourful. Thanks to the efforts of many citizens flowers can be seen on just about every street in town.

Unlike some cities in the competition, Trail receives a tremendous amount of support from the city staff and mayor.

“We are lucky and thankful to have the mayor and the City of Trail helping us out,” thanked Rodlie.

A score of 82 per cent or higher is required to receive the coveted five-bloom rating. Trail has maintained a five-bloom score since 2006, and their total has increased with each year.

“We hope to continue the rising score this year,” said Rodlie.

Because Trail won the national competition last year, they cannot compete again nationally for three years. This means they will be competing internationally against cities in the under 10,000 category. Some of the competition will be from as far away as Europe and Japan.

“It is important that everyone do what they can to help,” insisted Rodlie. “It’s as simple as picking up litter and tidying up the area.”

She suggested helping out wherever you can, and thanks everyone for their efforts.

“The citizens of Trail have been very helpful. We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this.”

The judges will be inspecting the city from July 17 to the 19. They will be shown around by members of the Community in Bloom committee, and will also have a chance to look at areas on their own.

 

Additional information on Communities in Bloom can be found at www.communitiesinbloom.ca