Bloomin’ bigger dreams

Campbell River’s natural beauty could be on a world-wide stage this summer

Campbell River’s natural beauty could be on a world-wide stage this summer.

After beating out its competition on a national scale last year, the Communities in Bloom committee plans to go one step higher in 2012.

“As a result of our achievements at the national level, the City of Campbell River has been invited to compete at the international level in 2012,” wrote Nigel Lambeth, Communities in Bloom Committee chair, in a report to council. “Competing at an international level will increase community pride and involvement and will continue to enhance the city’s reputation as an ideal place to work and live.”

Last year’s effort by the committee was a huge success with initiatives such as Adopt-A-Highway, the annual garden contest, and community workshops being put under the microscope by Bloom judges. New to Campbell River’s program last year were awards for great curb appeal, a Willow Point beautification survey and entry in the Christmas parade.

The committee spent $27,000 on Communities in Bloom and city staff put in 824 hours while volunteers spent 1,479.5 hours on the initiative.

The city’s efforts won Campbell River the 20,001 to 50,000 population category at the national level.

and five out of five blooms. The city also received special mention for the Baikie Island Restoration project, the Sustainable Development Award and an award for having the best community exhibit during November’s symposium and awards ceremony in Quebec.

Judges Normand Rose and Betty Lamont visited the city last July and evaluated the community based on tidiness; environmental action; heritage conservation; urban forestry; landscape, turf and ground covers; and floral displays, with an emphasis on community involvement in each of those areas.

“Committee members feel that although the competition is only one aspect of their volunteer work, it is a very important one,” Lambeth said. “It is invaluable to have outside evaluators come to the city to provide us with a benchmark regarding how we are doing compared to other cities across Canada.”

Coming off such a strong showing at the national level, the committee hopes to continue its momentum on an international stage.

“The committee continues to be dedicated to enhancing the beautification and livability of our community,” Lambeth said. “We hope to work together to continually improve our community and to promote Campbell River as a national Communities in Bloom winner and an international competitor.”

The deadline to enter the international competition is Jan. 19 and the committee was asking for city council’s support at a council meeting Tuesday night after the Mirror went to press.