By Andrea Walker
The Ashcroft Communities in Bloom group will represent the Village of Ashcroft at the National Communities in Bloom Symposium and Awards in Strathcona County, Alberta from September 26–29. Bruce and Andrea Walker will be attending as delegates, and hope to bring home honours for Ashcroft.
Ashcroft began competing in the Provincial CiB program in 2006, and won Provincial honours in 2008. In 2009, the Village moved up to compete in the National competition, which includes cities and villages of all sizes across Canada.
Ashcroft was a National CiB winner for its population category in 2013. Since then, Ashcroft has been competing in the Class of Champions category which, as the name implies, is for previous winners, and as such is even more competitive.
The Ashcroft CiB committee embraces the Communities in Bloom objectives, which are to make your community a better place for all: to make it “bloom”. Each year we are judged, and receive an evaluation report which rates us on how well we are doing, as well as making suggestions as to how we can improve.
Judging encompasses the entire community, including residential, commercial, and municipal areas. These three areas are judged in categories of tidiness, community involvement, environmental awareness, cultural heritage conservation, tree management, landscaped areas, floral displays, and turf areas.
Not only are participating cities, towns, and villages vying for the honour of being chosen a winner in their respective categories; they also have opportunities to win further awards in specific areas. The Outstanding Achievement Awards coincide with the categories in which communities are judged. Communities are invited to apply for the Outstanding Achievement Awards in whatever categories they feel they may excel in. Essentially, we are being asked to “blow our own horn”.
This year, Ashcroft Communities in Bloom applied for four separate Outstanding Achievement Awards. We have received notification that we have been chosen as a finalist for the following three awards: Community Involvement, Youth Involvement, and Community of Gardeners.
We are very proud of Ashcroft, and hope we will be successful in showcasing our community through the Outstanding Achievement Awards.