By Andrea Walker
The Communities in Bloom judges have come and gone, and have left with very good impressions of Ashcroft. The judges—Cliff Lacey from Sherwood Park, Alberta and Cynthia Boyd from St. Johns, Newfoundland—arrived in Ashcroft on July 12. They were treated to a delicious Chinese meal at Sam’s Diner, then headed to the Heritage Park for the community meet and greet. They mingled with local residents and presented the local Communities in Bloom committee’s choices for Best Bloomin’ Business, Best Street, and the awards for the Scott’s Best Garden winners. The winners for 2018 are:
Best Bloomin’ Business: Rolgear Manufacturing
Best Street: Cliff Crescent
Scott’s Best Garden: Jim and Marianne Munro (104 Tingley Street); Roy and Sandi James (206 Ash Street); Val Freestone (509 Brink Street); Cindy and Belinda Murray (351 5th Street); Heather and Lorne Roarke (1261 Mesa Vista Drive); and Kathryn and Ron Midan (1320 Mesa Vista Drive).
Congratulations to all for showing pride in your businesses and residences, and helping to make Ashcroft a better place for all; helping to make Ashcroft “bloom”.
Friday, July 13 was a full day spent judging the community. Judges evaluate the entire community in numerous categories, including overall tidiness, community involvement, environmental awareness, heritage conservation, urban forest management, and landscaped areas, together with reviewing village bylaws and municipal practices. It was a day filled with every area of Ashcroft, and the judging route covered one end of Ashcroft to the other.
The judges viewed heritage conservation at the Chinese cemetery, the mosaics throughout the village, the banners, flower barrels, and memorial benches, the Grad signs on the hill, the beginnings of the new water treatment plant, the Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store and Second Time Around, and the E. Fry community garden, just to name a few.
They were very impressed with the stunning new student mosaic located in Desert Sands Community School, and we were very fortunate to have principal Colleen Minnabarriet on hand to tell them about the meaning behind it and how the students were involved. While viewing the student gardens, co-principal Susan Schalles arrived and spoke about the wonderful plant-growing projects that students are involved with at the school.
From there we travelled down Western Avenue, the 2017 Best Street winner, and then to the Ashcroft HUB, where Vicky Trill gave the judges a very comprehensive and informative tour of this wonderful facility. They were very impressed with the businesses, volunteer work, and numerous activities that are offered in this building, and could not believe the quality of the gym!
Desert Hills was our next stop, where judges had a very informative conversation with Chris Porter, who conveyed the many aspects of this huge farm that we are all so proud of. They viewed our local swimming pool, park, and playground, and were impressed with the solar panels used to heat the pool.
Lunch saw us at the Village office, where the judges were able to obtain more in-depth information from Village administration, the works department, and mayor and council. The afternoon was filled with more touring and a thorough visit of the museum courtesy of Kathy Paulos, our curator.
After a very long day, the judges, members of the CiB committee, and council representatives enjoyed a very informal meal at the Legion. On Saturday morning the judges attended the Village’s appreciation barbeque in Heritage Park, meeting with more local residents and enjoying a burger before they left for the Kamloops airport.
Thank you residents and businesses of Ashcroft for extending our friendly and open Ashcroft hospitality, and demonstrating the pride in our community. The judges had many very favourable comments on what a lovely little gem we are so fortunate to live in!
We will receive our official evaluation, and find out how we rated, at this year’s Communities in Bloom National Symposium and Awards, which will be held in Strathcona Park, Alberta from September 26 to 29.