Protecting sacred Camas
“Indigenous community leader Kim Robertson and CiB teamed up to protect the stand of camas that grows along the waters edge near Gyro Park,” says Rachael Brown. “After many of the bulbs were removed last year, we covered a large section of the stand with chicken wire. This allows the plant to grow through while impeding any shovels looking to dig down. Next for the camas is proper signage.” Common camas is a native perennial herb in the lily family. The beautiful blue flowers grow in moist meadows in southern B.C. Camas is a rare find in the Columbia Basin, restricted to low-elevation sites in the West Kootenay. Camas was a dietary staple for Indigenous peoples wherever it grew, and is a cultural keystone species. Photo: Submitted

Protecting sacred Camas “Indigenous community leader Kim Robertson and CiB teamed up to protect the stand of camas that grows along the waters edge near Gyro Park,” says Rachael Brown. “After many of the bulbs were removed last year, we covered a large section of the stand with chicken wire. This allows the plant to grow through while impeding any shovels looking to dig down. Next for the camas is proper signage.” Common camas is a native perennial herb in the lily family. The beautiful blue flowers grow in moist meadows in southern B.C. Camas is a rare find in the Columbia Basin, restricted to low-elevation sites in the West Kootenay. Camas was a dietary staple for Indigenous peoples wherever it grew, and is a cultural keystone species. Photo: Submitted

Trail’s blooming volunteers are back for a 19th season

Dan Rodlie remains chair of the Trail CiB committee this season

With signs of new plant life peeking out from soil beds around the city, contract gardener Rachael Brown, from Trail Communities in Bloom (CiB), is providing an update on what will be springing up around town this year.

Spring has sprung and blooming volunteers with Trail CiB are cleaning up garden beds around town. Photo: Submitted

Spring has sprung and blooming volunteers with Trail CiB are cleaning up garden beds around town. Photo: Submitted

Like last year, Brown assures the community that volunteers who are out-and-about raking garden beds, and hanging flowers pots on lamp posts in coming weeks, will be practising COVID-19 rules like social distancing and donning protective gear.

This season, the municipality has dug in even further to help the growers stay well-equipped and safe.

“The benevolent forces at public works have bestowed upon us a ‘new-to-us truck,’ it’s gorgeous and doesn’t smell of bone meal yet,” quipped Brown. “Public works has also received our 2021 wish list, [including] irrigation upgrades, and garden bed infrastructure maintenance. And they have loaded us up with awesome PPE; masks, sanitizer and gloves so that our venture out into the gardens is done responsibly.”

Gratitude Garden grows at KBRH
Sue Babensee, member of Kootenay Boundary Physicians Association (and CiB) has been working to bring a mural to the healthcare worker entrance at the back of the hospital. Last year saw the installation of a Gratitude Garden, and this year, a mural continuing a message of hope and gratitude is in the works. Sue has also been cutting down grasses at the Miral Heights bed along the highway. Thank you Sue! Photo: Submitted

Gratitude Garden grows at KBRH
Sue Babensee, member of Kootenay Boundary Physicians Association (and CiB) has been working to bring a mural to the healthcare worker entrance at the back of the hospital. Last year saw the installation of a Gratitude Garden, and this year, a mural continuing a message of hope and gratitude is in the works. Sue has also been cutting down grasses at the Miral Heights bed along the highway. Thank you Sue! Photo: Submitted

She reminds all volunteers to stay home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, if they’ve been in contact with someone COVID-positive in the past 14 days, or if they’ve returned from travel outside of Canada in the past 14 days.

“Otherwise, let’s shout at each other from opposite ends of the garden beds while we rake up,” she said.

The pandemic quashed the real-time national and international CiB competition in 2020; so this year Trail joins other communities for a virtual edition in the non-evaluated category.

‘Canna lily’ bloom in March?
“Yes, it ‘canna,’” says gardener Rachael Brown. “Pictured is one of the rows of potted canna lilies saved from last year.” Brown thanks volunteers for carefully storing the bulbs over winter and for potting and tending to the lilies over the last month. Photo: Submitted

‘Canna lily’ bloom in March?
“Yes, it ‘canna,’” says gardener Rachael Brown. “Pictured is one of the rows of potted canna lilies saved from last year.” Brown thanks volunteers for carefully storing the bulbs over winter and for potting and tending to the lilies over the last month. Photo: Submitted

Trail entered the Communities in Bloom program in 2002 in an effort to improve the city’s aesthetics and overcome its industrial-town image. Since then the volunteer-led group has won numerous top honours and gained esteemed recognition for the city both nationally and internationally.

Read more: Growing a Gratitude Garden for Trail

Read more: On the bright side, Trail will soon be in bloom



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