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Communities in Bloom Judges visit Stettler July 28, 2022 @ 10:35am

Grace Fix, Chair of Heartland Beautification Committee

On Monday, July 25th, the National judges from the 'Communities in Bloom' program visited Stettler.

Communities in Bloom is a national, non-profit program that judges communities on various criteria and awards “blooms” based on their performance. This year is the 28th Communities in Bloom competition, and Stettler is competing in the National “Class of Champions - Medium” category.

Communities in Bloom judges use six primary criteria and award up to 1000 points to each community judged.

Community in Bloom Judging Categories:

  1. Community Appearance

  2. Environmental Action

  3. Heritage Conservation

  4. Tree Management

  5. Landscape

  6. Plant and Floral Displays

Heartland Beautification Chair, Grace Fix, said she was very impressed with how the community rose to the occasion to tidy their yards for the judges’ visit.

The Heartland Beautification Committee hosted a “Zero Waste” banquet as a farewell for the judges and to give out their annual Beautification Champion and Eco Excellence Awards.

Rob Spencer also attended the banquet and was instrumental in bringing the Community Gardens, the Community Orchard, and the Communities in Bloom program to Stettler beginning in 1998.

Communities in Bloom
Heartland Beautification Chair Grace Fix presented community members with awards.

Eco Excellence Awards were also presented to three outstanding community members at the evening’s event:

Barry Bowie (Left) received this year’s Beautification Champion award for his outstanding dedication to the Community Orchard. Barry is a member of the Heartland Beautification committee and is often found weeding, watering, and staking plants in the Orchard.

Joanne Pinder (Second from Left) was recognized for her dedication to item longevity and recycling. Joanne was involved in the inspiration and production of over 200 reusable produce bags, which Heartland Beautification Committee members gave away at this year’s trade show. Additionally, she gardens three gardens of her own and volunteers at her local community garden.

Bob and Jan Richardson (Right) were recognized for their extensive work reusing and upcycling anything they need.

The Communities in Bloom judges presented their comments about the visit as it will be several months before the scores are tallied, and the final Communities in Bloom awards are announced. They also mentioned that going forward, there would be more emphasis on the ‘Environmental Action’ section of the Communities in Bloom program.

Judge Martin Quinn (Left) from Goderich, Ontario, has been a Communities in Bloom judge at the provincial and national levels for 25 years. Quinn said he had picked up a few ideas from his visit to Stettler that he hoped to share with other communities as they were unique and worth sharing.

Judge Anthony O’Neill (Right) is from North Saanich, BC, but has a long family history of horticulture in Newfoundland.

“Incredible residential properties, as good as any in the Country” - Anthony O’Neil

The common thread message throughout the evening was that Stettler takes a “We” approach to Communities in Bloom, environmental design and recycling.

Communities in Bloom winners will be announced October 20-23 in Victoria, BC. During the last in-person Communities in Bloom competition in 2019, Stettler was a National Finalist and received 5 Blooms (the highest award) each year since joining the National competition in 2008.

Watch and Stettler Community Screens for the Heartland Beautification weekly Green Tips, calls for volunteers and announcements.

Jimilee Ayotte, Editor

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