Communities in Bloom – Trail recognized for floral displays

Greater community participation in beautification is needed before the city can reach the final rung of the Communities in Bloom competition

Greater community participation in beautification is needed before the city can reach the final rung of the Communities in Bloom competition, says a local Community in Bloom committee member days after the city was given high marks for its performance in the international competition.

Lana Rodlie said Monday the five-bloom rating and a special mention the city received at the awards ceremony on the weekend in Edmonton is as high as the Silver City can hope to attain, falling just short of the international title.

She said the local committee has taken care of the aesthetics of the city—planting flowers and cleaning the streets—but the stuff that is really going to spearhead the city into the winner’s circle still hasn’t come to pass.

She said local groups like the Downtown Association have to come on board, as well as the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce and the Lower Columbia Community Development Team, as well as neighbourhood community groups, need to lend a hand.

“We need these groups to start meeting together on a regular basis and to focus getting our whole town wrapped around the whole program, not just on flowers and street cleaning programs,” she said.

“We need cooperation from everybody.”

Trail was edged out by St. Martin’s Parish, Guernsey, Channel Islands in the international challenge (small) category of the 2012 national edition of Communities in Bloom, but finished with the blossoming community partnerships special mention.

Competing in the largest category against 10 other cities from Japan, the Czech Republic and England, the year marked the 10th anniversary the city has participated in the program, holding a max record of five blooms for eight of those years. Last year the city finished in third place.

In 2012, the city also won the national capital commission floral displays award for having the best flowerbeds in the nation.

Rodlie pointed to the Trail Downtown Plan—and supported by the Communities in Bloom judge’s comments—as proof of what needed to be done to put the city on top.

She said the judge’s comments have noted the city should enhance and capitalize on their Italian theme.

“Most of what was said in (the plan) the judges have been telling us that for the last 10 years,” she said.

As well, the city needs to work on beautifying East Trail and West Trail, and not be concerned with cleaning up Sunningdale and planting flowers in Glenmerry, areas already looking good.

“What we need to do is focus on residents’ associations in the two areas of our town that are really bringing us down,” Rodlie said.

She suggested formation of a committee that would go around and help seniors and low-income people fix up their yard.

The judge’s also felt the city should be doing more on its unsightly premises, especially working on businesses downtown and in the corridor coming into Trail, like Rossland Avenue.

Just down the road the city of Castlegar was recognized as a national award winner in the 6,501 to 10,000 community-size category.