Communities in Bloom judges Susan Ellis and Colleen Stockwood (far left) with residents of Western Avenue. The street was named Ashcroft’s best by the local CiB committee. Barbara Roden

Communities in Bloom judges arrive in Ashcroft

The judges presented the Scott’s Best Residential Gardens and Best Street awards in smoky conditions.

Despite a horrific wildfire that swept past Ashcroft on July 7, the national judges for Communities in Bloom were thrilled to come and judge our village, and were very impressed by the resiliency of our residents.

The judges arrived in Kamloops by plane and had to travel through Logan Lake to reach Ashcroft, as Highway 1 was still closed. Unfortunately, they were unable to see Highland Valley Copper’s lovely red-and-white dust domes or the huge pit due to the heavy smoke in the air.

Judges Colleen Stockford (from Sussex, New Brunswick) and Susan Ellis (Pembroke, Ontario) joined Ashcroft CiB members for dinner, and then moved to the Heritage Park for a meet-and-greet, where they met many Ashcroft residents. They also presented the CiB awards for the six Scott’s Best Residential Garden award, as well as the first “Best Street” award.

This year’s winners of the Scott’s Best Residential Garden award are:

Jim and Marg Jordon (1209 Mesa Vista Drive)

Marcus and Trish Lowe (806 Brink Street)

Zelia Clary and Tom Gerein (1316 Western Avenue)

Ken and Leslie Tassel (1295 Government Street)

Stearn and Jamie Frederickson (935 Hill Street)

Deanna and Randy Porter (250 Elm Street)

The Best Street award was presented to the residents of Western Avenue in North Ashcroft. The CiB committee noted that there were several streets worthy of the award, and it was a tough choice.

Congratulations to the residents of Western Avenue for showing pride in where you live.

The judges awoke Tuesday morning to a smelly, heavy layer of smoke, but carried on with their tour throughout the Village. They visited numerous sites such as the Chinese cemetery, the Heritage Park, the Community Hall (where a donation centre had been set up), the Legion, the student garden at Desert Sands Community School, the HUB, the pool park, a tour of murals and mosaics, lunch at the Village office, and numerous other locations. They spoke to many people on the tour and asked a variety of questions about Ashcroft and how things are done here.

As a Village we are judged in several categories: Tidiness, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Tree/Urban Forest Management, Landscaped Areas, Floral Displays, and Turf and Groundcovers. The judges focus on “How do we make our community ‘bloom’ or become a better place.” It is an all-encompassing and recognizable program that is known world-wide and has many benefits for communities that are involved in it.

The Village of Ashcroft is competing in the “Class of Champions” at the national level, meaning that we are competing against other winners from across Canada. We will receive our “report card”, or results, when we attend the National Communities in Bloom conference and awards, September 13–16. This year the conference and awards ceremony will be held in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, where there will be many wonderful sights to see celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.