The Oceanside Area of Vancouver Island has been involved with the Communities in Bloom program since 1999 and it shows in the tidiness and environmental involvement in our communities as well as floral displays.
Now, in addition to ongoing work to retain the area’s five bloom status — the highest achievement possible in the program — the area is contributing judges to the program.
This year Don Alberg, Jeannine Oakes, Wendy Maurer and Peter Crawshaw travelled throughout the province to help other communities in B.C. showcase their own community pride.
Working in teams of two, the locals fanned out, covering different areas of British Columbia at the same time.
Don and Jeannine visited the Thompson Okanagan: District of Logan Lake, City of Merritt and Sun Rivers Golf Resort Community. Peter visited the Okanagan: City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country and the City of Vernon.
Wendy travelled north to the First Nation community of Lax Kw’alaams, formerly known as Port Simpson and then on to Prince Rupert.
Communities in Bloom judges are all volunteers and they love what they do. Each community is judged against their own potential using a common judging grid across Canada. Judges visit each community, are toured by the local committee and then take on the task of offering feedback so communities continue to improve their bloom rating.
Once a community has achieved five blooms provincially, they may be invited to participate nationally.
This year’s provincial conference was held this past weekend in Sooke. Twenty B.C. communities participated provincially this year and four more entered the Community Showcase category.
The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach have both previously won provincially and nationally and Qualicum Beach has won internationally.
— Submitted by Wendy Maurer