It was a sunny and pleasant morning as the Communities in Bloom judges, Californian Evelyn Allemani and Quebecois Gaetan Deschenes started their walkthrough along Main Street from the Town of Stettler office building on Monday, July 11.
Meeting with the Town of Stettler council and administration in the morning at the town office, the judges were given an overview of Municipal Action Plan, expenditures, initiatives, policies and bylaws before a presentation of reports was made by the Town of Stettler department heads.
The judges were also given an insight into the wetland area and water treatment lagoons and other environmental initiatives within the communities, such as Walk ‘n Roll.
The judges were accompanied by Robert Spencer (chair, Heartland Beautification Committee), Grace Fix (vice-chair, Heartland Beautification Committee and chair, Environmental Action Committee), Lee Penner (director, Parks and Leisure Services), Tyler Hudgeon (member, Environmental Action Committee) and Alyssa Cregg (member, Environmental Action Committee).
“Since the last time I visited Stettler, it has become even more beautiful and I love the colourful flower displays in every corner,” said judge Evelyn Allemani.
As the judges walked through Main Street, they were given a tour of the new downtown park across from the Stettler Hotel, the bike racks that have been installed as part of the Walk ‘n Roll initiative, the cigarette butt dispenser from where the butts are recycled, and other upgrades within the town since last year.
“The judges were impressed how far we’ve come and how we are performing at a very high level,” said Rob Spencer. “Judge Evelyn Allemani talked about how we are heroes, she was referring to all the people involved in maintaining our heritage, those who do landscaping and other people in town that do great things.”
After an hour-long walkthrough Main Street the judges were driven to various environmental projects in town, like the Take It or Leave It centre, the third community garden, Stettler’s initiative of ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ (BYOB) as expounded by Sobey’s and off-leash dog park, among others.
“We are embracing more and more technologies and making things easier and easier to reduce reuse and recycle as well as be better on the environment,” added Spencer.
In the evening after a dinner reception at the Town of Stettler office, the four Eco-Excellence awards were given out along with the Beautification Champion award.
The winners were as follows: Individual award was given to Rita Mielke, business award went to Tail Creek greenhouses, the non-profit was awarded to County of Stettler housing authority and the award in excellence for item longevity went to Barry Gitzel.
P&H Elevator Preservation Society won the Beautification Champion award.
The results of the competition in the national chapter of the Communities in Bloom contest, the category in which Stettler is being assessed, will be announced in Regina, SK at the end of October.