This year will mark Ashcroft’s 10th anniversary as a participant in the Communities in Bloom program, and we are inviting all community residents to help us celebrate. Cake and refreshments will be served at the Heritage Park on Railway at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 18. The highlight of the celebration will be the unveiling of three stunning glass mosaic pieces housed in a stately roofed structure. The structure is set in a newly landscaped garden bed, and is a wonderful addition to the park.
July 18 is also the day that our Communities in Bloom judges arrive (judging is on the 19th), and we are so pleased that they will be able to share in this celebration with us.
Ashcroft first entered the Communities in Bloom program in 2006, and competed in the provincial competition. All communities, whether they are a small village or a large city, must compete first at the provincial level. In order to move out of the provincial program and enter the national competition, you must win in your population category at the provincial level.
In 2008 Ashcroft won their population category at the provincial level, and in 2009 we entered the big time, moving into the national competition. Here the competition is quite a bit stiffer, as you are competing with other communities in your population category from all across Canada. It took five years of hard work, but in 2013 we were very proud to win in our population category!
For the past three years we have been competing in the “Class of Champions” category. As the name implies, this category is for previous winners, and once again the competition is kicked up another notch.
The judges come each year and tour the entire community, with different judges coming every year. They speak to business owners, village administrators and village workers, and local residents. They look at village property, business properties, and residential properties.
The entire community, including the village, businesses, and residences, is judged in eight categories: Tidiness, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation, Tree/Urban Forest Management, Landscaped Areas, Floral Displays, and Turf and Groundcovers.
So, as you can see, flowers are but a very small piece of what they judge. And while the name can be misleading, it is all about making your community “bloom” or flourish in many different ways.
We hope that everyone in Ashcroft will take a few moments to tidy up their yard or business in preparation for the judges’ visit next week. We have the most lovely community, and are always so proud to show it off!