Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Stettler is again going to head to head on an international level with other communities via the annual Communities in Bloom challenge.

This year, the Town is entered in the ‘International Challenge – Small’ category which also includes Comune di Spello, Perugia, Italy and Občina Zreče, Slovenia.

Evaluations here in town will take place July 19th by Communities in Bloom Judges Lorna McIlroy and Andrea Bocsi.

“You tour them around for the day,” explained Rob Spencer, chairman of the local committee.

And as the 2011 national champs, Stettler now competes in the international category.

“They judge you within six categories, and there is a break-down of what they will mark you out of. In total, there are 1,000 points. Based on where you fall within those 1,000 points gives you your ‘Bloom’ rating.”

Categories run the gamut from tidiness, environmental action and heritage conservation to urban forestry, landscape and floral displays.

The evaluation is also based on the local conditions and achievements of citizens, businesses, organizations, institutions and the municipal government working together towards common objectives.

Communities are rated from one to five ‘Blooms’ based on the scoring obtained.

“At the end, you also get an evaluation back which shows how you did in each category. You get a sense of what you may have missed – they will give you the good things they observed and the things they think you could perhaps improve on, along with some suggestions,” he explained.

“It’s really useful, and we will build projects to try and accomplish some of those things, because it’s an ‘outside’ set of eyes.

“Our goal this year is to present the new projects that we are doing, highlight the things that are ongoing and what we are continually improving on as well.

“We’ll start at the Town office, walk Main Street; show them parks, businesses, individual residences, volunteer and community groups. It’s way more than just flowers,” he added.

Spencer said past years have seen judges arrive in town from such locales as Quebec and Saskatchewan to Hungary, the Netherlands and Britain.

Meanwhile, Communities in Bloom is marking its 25th anniversary this year, said Spencer.

Established with the guidance of initiatives including ‘Britain in Bloom’, ‘Tidy Towns of Ireland’ and ‘Villes et Villages Fleuris de France’, Communities in Bloom was first launched back in 1994 with the first edition held in 1995.

Since then, more than 1,200 communities have participated from across Canada and in the international challenge involving communities from Canada, the United States, Asia and Europe.

Looking ahead, the national and international results, along with the Alberta results, will be announced in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia this September during the Symposium and Awards Ceremonies.

In the meantime, local residents can help.

“They can make sure things are tidy. We want people to be doing this all year long. There is also a community involvement element in it. It used to be a separate category – now it’s pervasive amongst all six categories.”

For Spencer, who also works for the provincial government, being involved with Communities in Bloom has been a fulfilling venture from day one.

“I like being out working on a community project and being able to meet someone who walks by, and I can tell them a little bit about what we are doing and why. Hopefully, it will have some meaningful impact.”

Just Posted

‘Alberta Long Ears’ in Stettler Aug. 10th-11th.

Established in 1989, the Alberta Donkey & Mule Club is an offshoot of the national organization

Communities in Bloom judges check out Stettler’s finest features

National and International results will be announced in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in September

Buccaneers pillage Irish 36-0

Central Alberta bounces back after off week against Wolfpack

Alberta Prairie Railways marks 30 unforgettable in the biz

Tickets purchased this year go to a special ‘luxury’ train ride for 30 guests

Ethel Williams gifted a donation for the Community Recreation Track resurfacing

The running track in Stettler is a legacy from the 1991 Alberta Summer Games

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Buccaneers pillage Irish 36-0

Central Alberta bounces back after off week against Wolfpack

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Most Read