With national judges on their way to the city, volunteers with Trail Community in Bloom are asking citizens to do their part in tidying the town.
“What we try to tell homeowners is, your property doesn’t stop with your gate,” says Dan Rodlie, committee chair.
“If you see a weed growing in the boulevard in front of your house, go out and pull it,” he suggested. “Make it like you are going to sell your house or business, make it presentable.”
The greening of Trail neighbourhoods has been underway for months, as the city readies to compete alongside Rosemère QC and Summerside P.E.I. in the Class of Champions, medium category, for the 25th Edition of Communities in Bloom (CiB).
Arriving Monday and evaluating the Silver City over three days, are Communities in Bloom judges Susan Ellis from Pembroke, ON and Anne-Marie Parent from Beaconsfield, QC.
“The two judges coming to town are very high profile,” Coun. Carol Dobie advised at Monday night council. “It’s because of the Class of Champions category we have entered into that we are getting these two judges. So we really have to be on our toes this year.”
Susan Ellis is a graduate of the universities of Guelph, Western, and Waterloo. She has a multi-faceted career as an educator, marketing and advertising consultant, and municipal manager of economic development, recreation, and tourism.
Anne-Marie Parent holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Montréal, as well as a Master’s degree in Urban Planning. She is a member of the Quebec Association of Urban Planners and the Quebec Association of Landscape Architects.
The judges mark each participant by using an evaluation grid that is divided into six criteria: tidiness; environmental action; heritage conservation; urban forestry; landscape; and floral displays.
“Remember, the judges are evaluating your community based on its potential; what you do with what you have,” CiB states. “Your community is not being compared with other communities.”
Adjudication is further influenced by the overall community participation in the program as well as the level of involvement from the municipality, local businesses and institutions, and the residential sector.
“The CiB program takes in what everybody in town does,” Rodlie said. “So, keeping a home with ‘curb appeal,’ a nice garden, neat boulevards and debris-free neighbourhoods is all part of the program. Hence, CiB thanks the overwhelming community of gardeners in Trail.”
Participants are given a “1-Bloom” to “5-Bloom” rating, and aim for a Bronze, Silver or Gold level in their 5-Bloom rating.
Top achievers are also recognized with various awards such as the Pollinator-Friendly Community Award, WinterLife Award, Landscape Award and the Youth Involvement Award. Trail won the latter two accolades a few years ago, in addition to maintaining the city’s 5-bloom rating.
Since 2002, Trail Community in Bloom has been the catalyst for keeping the municipality involved. Over the years, on both the national and international spectrum, the group has gained positive recognition for an oft-thought of “industrial city.”
Again this season, Silver City volunteers are dedicated to achieving no less than a 5-Bloom score.
“While chair Dan Rodlie and his little army of volunteers do a lot of work, the accolades go to the people of the city whose pride and community spirit shines,” the city states.
“Keeping residential and business properties, streets and boulevards neat and tidy; making strides in environmental improvements, and honouring our historical past, are all parts of the CiB package that keep our 5-bloom rating possible.”
The National and International results will be announced in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia from Sept. 25th to 28th, during the Symposium and Awards Ceremonies with the theme of “Bloom by the Sea” Celebrating Excellence.