Wood Buffalo is five blooms beautiful

Community receives award-winning results for beautification

By DAWN BOOTH, Connect Weekly

The National Communities in Bloom judges learn about the  Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Adopt-a-Park program and visit Helen Pacholko Park on August 7. This park is continues to be led by volunteer passion and commitment. SUPPLIED PHOTO

The National Communities in Bloom judges learn about the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Adopt-a-Park program and visit Helen Pacholko Park on August 7. This park is continues to be led by volunteer passion and commitment. SUPPLIED PHOTO

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo claimed the 5 Blooms Silver title at the 21st Edition of the Communities in Bloom National Symposium and Award Ceremonies in Kamloops, B.C., on October 3.

With a special mention for the Snye Point Park, the 2015 rating for the awarded Class of Champions – Large Cities category ranked the Wood Buffalo region with a score between 87 per cent and 89.9 per cent.

“This year’s competition saw a new element. The National Communities in Bloom executive added levels of bronze, silver and gold to its top ‘5 Bloom’ award classification,” said Elaine Martens, co-chair of the Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom committee, in correspondence.

The 2015 awards were the first time our local Communities in Bloom competed in the Class of Champions category and were up against Charlottetown, PE, Leduc, AB, and Westmount, QC. Martens shares though the competition was tough, the efforts from the community and the municipality helped them achieve the win.

“We had tough competition,” she said. “It speaks remarkably well to the efforts of our administration and staff, and to the council support we get for initiatives that allow us to compete in this nation organization.”

The volunteer judges Gaétan Deschênes and Steve Presto couldn’t have come at a better time, as they arrived on the same day of the kick-off to the 11th 2015 Western Canada Summer Games on August 7, as well as, the newly renovated Snye Point Park officially opened a few days before.

Following their evaluation, Deschênes and Presto shared, “The newly completed park renovations, as part of the Trailways Master Plan, has put the finishing touches on what can now be deemed the event centre for the region. With state of the art LED park lighting and a new community centre, it is a glorious site for an outdoor amphitheater. Snye Point Park is definitely another jewel in the crown for the R.M. of Wood Buffalo.”

The six major evaluation categories for criteria included: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.

Martens shared, “Wood Buffalo is strong,” in the Urban Forestry category. “As, we should be, located with a 38-million hectare boreal forest. One of the interesting things I learned, as we toured with the judges, is that our Parks Department offers something called: Tree Doctor Service. A resident who wants to know about how to care for trees, how to plant them, how to address a pest problem, or anything tree related, can call Parks at 780-799-5832 and make a request for a conversation with one of our arborists.”

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and a national competition.
For more information on the program and upcoming community initiatives, visit rmwb.ca/cib.

– Connect Weekly –