Downtown Trail’s incrEDIBLE Green Route is on the roster for guests to check out during the upcoming BC Communities in Bloom awards and conference. The 11th annual event kicks off Sept. 11 with a meet-and-greet

Blooming community hosts awards, conference

Communities in Bloom volunteers have been working for months to polish up Trail for the 3 day event that starts September 11.

All that’s left is fine details to embellish the city for the 11th Annual BC Communities in Bloom (CiB) awards and conference next month.

Trail CiB volunteers and Silver City staff have been digging in behind-the-scenes for months to put some shine on the town for the three-day event that starts with a meet-and-greet Sept. 11.

“We are down to the fine tuning of decorating and making sure we have volunteers line up because there is lots of work to do right until the end,” said CiB member Mary Martin.

The provincial CiB competition kicked off in July as judges travelled across BC to visit participating towns and cities for two days to view about 80 per cent of the growing communities.

Judges prepare a written report of each municipality and provide a bloom rating which measures how the community improves from year to year.

And for the first time, Trail’s group is looking forward to sharing why and how Trail grew from an industrial town into an alluring city before the provincial winners are announced on the Saturday evening.

What Martin would most like to see happen during the Trail, “Look at us now” celebrations, is residents coming out in droves for a weekend of activities that includes an elegant affair in Jubilee Park, and tours of Teck, the city’s historic rock walls, and the Beaver Valley.

Friday night’s “White Night” in CiB’s recently completed Sissinghurst White Garden project is slated to be a sophisticated catered evening that will feature Columbia Gardens wines, Tony Ferraro’s jazz band and keynote speaker Greg Belland, Teck Trail’s operations manager.

“It’s going to be a glorious night in the White Garden,” said Martin. “We’d really like as many locals as possible and we’ll accommodate everyone we can get.”

Scheduled the following day is a full roster of events beginning with an 8 a.m. registration and an information session by Trail’s CiB chair Dan Rodlie and Larry Abenante, the city’s public works manager, about how to work together and combine resources, volunteers and civic staff.

Later, Sheila Adcock, director of Career Development Services will discuss how people with disabilities and employment issues benefit from projects that also help the CiB program.

Gina Ironmonger will be on hand to talk about community gardens and how the downtown business woman launched Trail’s incrEDIBLE Green Route.

Key note speaker Steven Hilts, Teck’s director of environmental legacies of Teck Metals Ltd. will explain how the green-up of Trail happened over time, and challenges the communities faced.

The “Look at us Now” Tour from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. is a drive throughout the city to showcase Trail CiB highlights including the Colombo Piazza, murals, floral beds, Avenue of the Clans, adopt-a stairway project and historical buildings.

“The community has been very supportive,” said Martin. “I would say the challenge now is to get in registration from throughout the province.”

Currently, 30 out-of-town registrations have been received, but Martin expects many more applications within the next few weeks.

“We are not sure yet but we are certainly hoping for representatives from many communities throughout the province,” she explained. “Our encouragement is for other communities to join this program because its great, its fun and it really makes a difference.”

For information, contact city hall or visit trail.ca.

Following the conference and awards dinner, Rodlie and his wife Lana Rodlie, are heading to Charlottetown, P.E.I. for the national CiB awards.

The Trail group hopes to win two outstanding achievement awards on the national level, one for Landscapes, the other for Community of Gardeners.

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