The colourful street banners along Railway Avenue featuring flowers, which were painted by a variety of community members, received special recognition at this year’s National Communities in Bloom competition. Photo: Barbara Roden

Ashcroft maintains 5 Blooms–Bronze rating in Communities in Bloom competition

Village receives special recognition for colourful street banners

By Andrea Walker

The Village of Ashcroft maintained its 5 Blooms–Bronze rating in this year’s National Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition.

Competing in the Class of Champions–Small category, Ashcroft also received recognition for its newly-painted street banners. The Ashcroft CiB group organized a late spring workshop which had representatives from a number of community groups attend to contribute to the banner painting. The theme chosen was flowers, and the painters were given free rein to design and paint their banners along this theme. The results were fantastic, colourful banners that liven up Railway Avenue.

Involvement in the CiB program is an excellent way to promote and grow your community in a variety of ways. It is about making your community “bloom”, which is what the “bloom” in the title Communities in Bloom refers to (it is not all about growing flowers!).

Competing communities are judged/evaluated in six main categories: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscapes, and Floral Displays.

Within these categories are specific criteria that apply to municipal, business, and residential sectors. These criteria are assigned a maximum value and the judges award their value to them, so it is like a report card.

Together with the graded results for all these categories, the judges provide comments and suggestions as to what may be lacking and suggestions on how to improve. Thus, this evaluation/report card is a wonderful tool which can then be used to make improvements and create an even better place to live.

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom is a volunteer group that includes one Ashcroft Village council representative. As such, we are rather unique, as most CiB committees across Canada, and even internationally, are headed by employees of the municipalities they represent, augmented by volunteers. Our committee, as representatives and champions of the Village of Ashcroft, endeavours to promote pride in the community through the various projects we undertake.

We work closely with Village administration and the Village crew to explore ways to improve the appearance of, and amenities in, Ashcroft. Some of our long-term plans include working to develop strategies for tree management, more shade options for the pool park, signage for local trails, and a focus on promoting our fantastic mosaics. We continue to work with the Village on the refurbishment and upkeep of what we consider our town’s “gem”, Heritage Place Park.

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom extends a warm welcome to new members. As mentioned previously, CiB is not just about flowers; it is about making your community a better place to live. If you are keen on being a part of this very positive, progressive group, please give Andrea Walker a call at (250) 453-9402.

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