Having received five blooms in the national Communities in Bloom for the third successive year, the Town of Stettler and Heartland Beautification Committee will continue to improve the town’s appearance and scores in the hope that the efforts will be crowned with a win next year.
Overall, the town scored 83.2 per cent, slightly higher than 82.55 per cent last year and 83.15 per cent in 2008.
“The judges’ comments give us opportunity to make improvements,” said Rob Spencer, who chairs the beautification committee.
“They were very positive about what they saw in our community.”
“We are consistently strong in all categories,” said Spencer, noting that the town and committee appreciate getting an outside look at the community’s appearance.
National judges Lorna McIlroy of Grande Prairie and Joanne Dunphy of Prince Edward Island were delighted with the beauty of the community as the toured the town on July 28.
With restructured criteria and categories, the town received high marks in:
• Tidiness – 87.5 per cent.
• Landscape (including turf and groundcovers) – 84.3 per cent.
• Environmental action – 83.7 per cent.
• Heritage conservation – 82.5 per cent.
• Floral displays – 81.1 per cent.
• Urban forestry – 80.6 per cent.
For each criteria, judges suggested several steps for the town to improve.
To improve tidiness, judges encouraged the town to update signage for all entrances into Stettler, more waste receptacles and recycling containers, seating areas and along trails and reduce scentless chamomile.
To improve the landscape, the judges suggested the town research the option of holders for solar lights at the cemetery, add bicycle stands in all parks and more murals in town.
For environmental action, the judges suggested a rebate program for low-flow showerheads to conserve more water, make the recycling area at the transfer station more available, attractive and inviting for residents, and reconsider the practice of burning waste, and chip wood into mulch.
To improve heritage conservation, the judges suggested that the town not neglect present-day history.
“Perhaps in conjunction with a high school class, preserve your recent history,” was one of the suggestions put forward by the judges.
For floral displays, the judges suggested the town continue to use ornamental grasses as they perform well and expand your selection of grasses, and increase plantings of perennials and shrubs.
To improve urban forestry, the judges advised the town develop a comprehensive tree inventory and tree-protection bylaws, remove thistles from Rotary Millennium Park and provide information to the public about successful methods of planting trees.