The third time around was a charm for the city of Thompson in their participation in Communities in Bloom, as they were able to reach their goal of a four bloom score.
Communities are scored on a scale of one to five blooms; Thompson scored three blooms in its first two years, and in 2012 was able to better their score and achieve a four-bloom designation. No community that entered scored less than four blooms this year.
Communities are judged based on a series of criteria including tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and groundcovers, floral displays, and community involvement.
Established with the guidance of Britain in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland and Villes et Villages Fleuris de France, Communities in Bloom held its first competition in 1995 and 29 participating municipalities were honoured at the first awards ceremonies.
As participation increased, provincial editions were developed requiring communities to qualify for national competition. Manitoba has been involved with Communities in Bloom since 1999.
Nationally, the program now includes more than 500 communities across the country and an international challenge involving communities from the United States, Japan and several European countries allows participants to compete internationally.
The 14th annual Manitoba Communities in Bloom awards and conference, where this year’s awards were announced, was held in Virden on Sept. 7 and 8.
Provincial judges visited Thompson on Aug. 14 and 15 and were toured around town by the Thompson Communities in Bloom Committee, a volunteer committee led by Thompson Unlimited.
“I am extremely proud of our volunteer committee, Thompson residents and all of those who contributed to a successful judges tour,” said Coun. Erin Hogan, Chair of the Communities in Bloom committee, “the committee has known all along that we deserve the four bloom designation. It’s great to know we have such an excellent team of community ambassadors working to share our story.”
The provincewide community beautification program seeks to inspire a sustainable approach to improving the quality of life and civic pride in communities across Manitoba.
Thompson shared a four bloom score with Selkirk in the population over 5,000 category. Communities that received five blooms in 2012 were: Sandy Lake, Carberry, Baldur, Lac du Bonnet, Minnedosa, and Stonewall. All of the communities that received five blooms qualify for the national competition. The 18th national awards ceremonies for Communities in Bloom will be held at the National Conference and Symposium on Growing Vibrant and Sustainable Communities in Edmonton from Oct. 10-13.