Town participating in Communities In Bloom contest

July 29, 2015   ·   0 Comments

With the summer heat in full force, and the Canada’s Communities In Bloom contest less than a week away, it’s time to put away your garden tools, and maybe add a little extra water to your plants, as the judges prepare to make their way around Orangeville to pick the best displays.

Communities In Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization that is committed to helping foster civic pride while encouraging and educating on environmental responsibility and beautification in the community. This is done mainly through events that encourage a community’s environment, as well as through participation in the national challenge to be named one of the Communities In Bloom communities.

This year Orangeville is participating in the national challenge, which will see the town up against other Ontario communities in the same population category. The provincial judges will evaluate each community based on eight criteria, and award a rating from one to five blooms, five meaning the highest ranking. The winning communities are announced at a provincial awards ceremony on September 26 in Perth. From there, up to two communities will be invited to participate in next year’s national competition.

In order to get the town excited about next week’s judging competition, the Orangeville Communities in Bloom Committee is inviting residents to participate in their first-ever Mowdown. Between next Saturday and Tuesday, August 4, those caught by members of the committee mowing their lawn or working in their front garden will be awarded a prize for their efforts.

A Judges Tour will begin following the Mowdown, with the special guest judges evaluating Orangeville next Wednesday, August 5, and Thursday, August 6. This year’s judges are Betty Lamont, a resident of Bruce County, along the sandy shores of Lake Huron, and Sheila King, a resident of Manotick, in the Ottawa area.

Ms. Lamont is a passionate gardner and founder of the Bruce South Master Gardners, and is involved in the Kincardine Horticultural Society and Huron Fringe Field Naturalists. She has been a Communities In Bloom judge, both provincially and nationally, for 10 years, and “finds the opportunity of meeting with other enthusiastic members of Communities in Bloom, and viewing firsthand their beautiful communities particularly rewarding.”

Ms. King has an equally impressive resume. Born in London, England, she moved to Montreal in 1974, and eventually settled in Manotick 18 years ago. After studying to become a certified Ontario Horticultural Association horticulture and design judge, she eventually became a teacher at the judging school, as well as a director on the Ontario Horticulture Association board.

“The entire contest is to help encourage the community to just get out there, have fun and help make our community look great,” Ted Zarudny of Communities in Bloom told the Citizen in June. “We’re hoping after this year it will really take off once people know more and see what it’s all about.”

The local leg of the contest is made up of eight categories: Best Bloomin’ children’s garden for children 12 and under, Best Edible Garden, Best Floral Display, Best Landscaping Homeowner, Best Bloomin’ business, Best Industrial/Commercial, Best Place of Worship, Best School, Best Container Garden (homeowners and apartments with balconies), and Best Seniors Residence.

Although this is the first year of the new round of challenges, Communities In Bloom is hoping to grow the contest next year.

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