Orangeville fares well in first Communities in Bloom attempt

September 29, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

The Town of Orangeville fared exceptionally well in its inaugural year competing in the national Communities in Bloom (CIB) competition, taking home one first-place finish and being recognized for general excellence at an awards ceremony held in Ottawa earlier this month.

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization whose mandate is to foster friendly competition and challenge municipalities across the nation to beautify their civic spaces. In its first year competing in the event, the Town landed first place in the Community of Gardeners Award as well as achieving a five-bloom bronze rating – one of the highest distinctions dished out at the event.

A bloom rating is determined by the total score of a judge’s evaluation. Results range from one bloom to five blooms. There are four levels of five blooms exclusive to the national and international edition of the competition. Five blooms is awarded to all communities that achieve a score of 82 to 83.9 percent, bronze for those that score between 84 and 86.9 percent, silver for 87 to 89.9 percent and gold for 90 percent and over.

Representatives from dozens of communities across the country descended on the nation’s capital for the Sept. 16 awards ceremony, where organizers heaped special praise on Orangeville’s local CIB committee members for their exceptional work this year. As well as winning the Community of Gardeners Award, the Town was a finalist for both the Environmental Action Award and Communities in Bloom Canada 150 Award, losing out to Bruderheim, AB and Amherstburg, ON respectively.

Orangeville CIB committee member Ted Zarudny was at Town Council on Monday night to share this “exciting news” with the public.

“This is great news, it’s going to impact everyone here (in the community),” Mr. Zarudny said. “This was our very first year in the national competition and, although we were not able to win the big award, to receive five blooms and a bronze rating is fantastic. Even the judges in Ottawa were saying how great it was to see a first-year community receive something like that.”

He added, “We did exceptionally well to finish in the top three in the country for the Canada 150 award and winning the Community of Gardeners Award is very special. Judging for that award is carried out across Canada, the United States and Europe. The Town did a remarkable job getting the flower beds and shrub beds in order. This is a fantastic accomplishment.”

National Communities in Bloom judges toured Orangeville for three days in July. From July 13 to 15 they judged the Town on neatness/cleanliness, heritage conservation, floral displays, forestry, landscape, environmental awareness and action and community participation. The judges looked at municipal property and homes, businesses, churches and schools. Notable stops on their tour included the Dufferin County Courthouse, the Lord Dufferin Centre, the garden at Orangeville District Secondary School, the train station, Dragonfly Park, Headwaters Health Care Centre and Island Lake Public School.

Following their evaluation, volunteer judges Lorna McIlroy and Normand Fleury wrote: “Orangeville is a great place to visit and an excellent place to live, work and play because of the positive, collaborative partnerships that have been nurtured.”

While the local CIB committee will surely take time to celebrate what is a notable achievement, Mr. Zarudny said they were already looking forward to next year’s competition, where he hopes to see the municipality perform even better than this time around.

“We’ll definitely be resubmitting for the Environmental Action Award and, I know, with all the work the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team is doing and the work the Town has done, hopefully we will be able to come back with that award next year,” Mr. Zarudny said.


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