Cache Creek carries on with CiB judging

The Village will focus on resiliency rather than improvements when the Communities in Bloom judges visit on July 22.

The Cache Creek Beautification Society is not letting the flood of May 23 stand in the way of taking part in this year’s Communities in Bloom judging. The CCBS withdrew from the CiB judging last year because of flooding in Cache Creek park. This year, only days after the flood which devastated much of the town, the committee reaffirmed that they would not be withdrawing again.

“No one talked about cancelling this year,” said CCBS President Carmen Ranta. “Communities in Bloom looks at the entire community in seven different categories. It helps for residences and businesses to keep as tidy as possible for the judges, but we realize that that’s not a priority this year.”

Instead, the CCBS will be focusing on community resiliency when the judges are in town on July 22. They’ll be making a presentation about the impact of the disaster on the community and showing videos and pictures of the scope of the damage, then driving the judges around town to show them what has been affected and what’s been done.

“It’s a slightly different focus this year, but we’re going to proceed in a normal way as much as possible,” said Ranta. In addition to the improvements to the playground (which was not affected by the flood) since the judges’ last visit, and the expanded horticultural display in the downtown planters, the judges will be taken on a tour of community facilities such as the air strip, the landfill, the new gas utilization plant, the golf course, Cache Creek Elementary school, and more.

“We have a lot to brag about regarding the overall health of the community,” said Ranta. And while the judges will learn about the scope of the flooding, they’ll also be told about all the positive community activities available, such as free swimming at the pool, fitness and recreation programs, geocaching, the Village’s service clubs, and concerts and events supported by the CCBS.

The judges arrive on Tuesday, July 21, and the Society is organizing a welcoming event for them to which all community members are invited. It kicks off at 5:30 pm at the Community Hall with a free family bingo, followed by a barbecue dinner and refreshments.

“Communities in Bloom BC is a wonderful community partner, and we’ve received a lot of moral support from them,” said Ranta, who cited a piece which appeared on the front page of the BC CiB June 2015 newsletter. Headlined “One of our own: Cache Creek in recovery”, it states that the “BC Communities in Bloom organization was impressed to hear the announcement from the Village council that ‘We are proceeding with our entry featuring community strength! We’re looking forward to the tour this year!’ even before BC CiB offered to waive their registration fee.”

By highlighting resiliency this year, Ranta says the Beautification Society is showing how the residents of Cache Creek have come together in the aftermath of a disaster. “In the long run, it’s  a very positive thing for our community.”

Barbara Roden