A group of community-minded citizens has their eyes set on the 2019 Communities in Bloom competition and are taking the first step towards a community-focused project with an informative meeting April 30, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Prairie Arts Council.
“It was done in town for the first time in 2001,” said Susan Mooney, one of the members intrigued by the idea of taking part again. “We’re holding a meeting, informational only, to check to see if there is interest in taking part in this again.”
Communities in Bloom consists of towns receiving information and being evaluated either provincially or nationally by a volunteer jury of trained professionals on the accomplishments of their entire community (municipal, private, corporate and institutional sectors, citizens) on eight key criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape, Turf and Groundcovers, Floral Displays and Community Involvement.
“The Carman Garden Club took pictures of through all four seasons, and I thought it would be a lovely way to start the meeting to showcase what our community has,” said Mooney. “Then there will be a little presentation on what communities in bloom is all about because there is a process. We’re hoping to get someone who was in the first project to come and speak because some very positive things happen because of us joining the competition.”
There is no cash or monetary prize to winning the Communities in Bloom contest rather the sense of accomplishment in adding to the community.
“The community will get together and work together and identify projects they want to work on in terms of beautification of the community,” she said. “There are six criteria that are guidelines to be followed. So we will identify projects within that criteria that we will want to work on, then a committee is created to look at what the community has to offer then we’ll actually fill in a registration form.”
Mooney is excited at the thought of getting a like-minded group together to discuss the possibility of getting involved in the program and is hoping for support from the business community as well.
“That’s where the Chamber of Commerce can really come in hand,” added Mooney. “They’ll be a key player in this, hopefully. We can work on parks, Kings Park, or bigger aspects, or maybe someone wants to get their block involved and fix up their immediate community. You can really pick a project that is tuned to your interests.”
The pride, sense of community and feeling of accomplishment generated through participation are visible in communities all over Canada. These benefits make Communities in Bloom a program where everyone wins. Participants can benefit financially from the program through community tourism initiatives, business opportunities for the entire community, and other related projects. A valuable information exchange network allows communities to share accomplishments, best practices and projects.
All participants are showcased on the Communities in Bloom website through the ‘Explore our Communities’ section, with a description page and a link to their respective community website.
“If this is a go and we get a ton of support we’ll get a second meeting planned,” she added. “Then we can get a committee together and decide on what categories we will choose.”
The Communities in Bloom meeting is April 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Prairie Arts Council in Carman.
History of Communities in Bloom
Established with the guidance of Britain in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland and Villes et Villages Fleuris de France, Communities in Bloom held its first edition in 1995 and 29 participating municipalities were honoured at the first awards ceremonies on Parliament Hill.
The program now includes hundreds of communities across the country and an international challenge involving communities from the United States, Asia, and several European countries allows participants to compete internationally.