For the second straight year, the city will not compete in Communities in Bloom, despite the city winning the national competition in 2011.
Similar to last year, Nigel Lambeth, chair of the Communities in Bloom Committee, recommended postponing the competition, which council agreed to during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“Due to challenges which the community continues to face with reduced service levels, the committee would like to register in the Circle of Excellence category as a non-competitive community, continue with projects as recommended in the annual report and prepare to potentially compete internationally in 2014,” Lambeth said in a report to council.
That impressed Coun. Andy Adams.
“I want to recognize the work the Communities in Bloom Committee has done and (its) recognition of the challenges before council,” Adams said. “I want that appreciation extended to all members of the committee.”
Last year, the Communities in Bloom Committee chose to take a year off from competing and instead registered as a non-competitive community to maintain its eligibility to compete at the international level.
A community is allowed to postpone its participation for two years, but after that the city would have to start over at the provincial level.
The city was invited to compete internationally in 2012 after winning at the national level last year, with a score of 85 per cent.
However, the committee needed $26,000 from the city in order to enter the contest and city council was forced to cut the Communities in Bloom budget this year due to financial difficulties.
“The committee decided to postpone entering the international level of competition for one year,” said Nigel Lambeth, chair of the committee. “Although the committee decided to take one year off from competing they were still very active and made many contributions to the community.”
Those initiatives included continuing the Adopt-A-Highway program, the second annual Great Curb Appeal campaign, the Canada Day parade, flower and tree planting, as well as several community clean-up days.
This year the committee is asking council for $7,500 from the parks department to support community groups that conduct a variety of community clean up initiatives throughout the year.
Lambeth said many in the community don’t realize that Communities in Bloom supports initiatives such as community clean ups, not just plantings.
“Unfortunately Communities in Bloom is a bit of a misnomer for the committee as it gives the impression that their activities are all about flowers,” Lambeth said. “All of the committee’s initiatives are planned around the eight criteria areas for which the community gets judged in the CIB competition: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and groundcovers, floral displays and community involvement.”
Participating in Communities in Bloom raises the profile of Campbell River around the world as more than 300 delegates attend the national symposium where each participant has a display showcasing their community.
The city has competed in the competition since 2005 when it entered as a non-competitive community.