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Focus on beautification not competition, Communities in Bloom committee says

Campbell River hadn’t been formally competing in the competition since 2011

The committee tasked with prepping the city for Communities in Bloom wants to withdraw Campbell River from the beauty contest.

The Communities in Bloom Committee wants to pull out of the competition because of the demands associated with the program.

Nigel Lambeth, the chair of the committee, said while Communities in Bloom fosters civic pride it’s also a huge undertaking that the city in recent years has not been able to afford.

“The committee feels that the national Communities in Bloom program offers an excellent system for measuring the performance of a community in eight key areas, related to beautification and sustainability,” Lambeth said.

“However, the commitment to compete, from a financial and volunteer effort perspective, is enormous.

“Therefore, the committee has decided that it would like to withdraw from the national program.”

The city hadn’t been formally competing in the competition since 2011. That year the city did so well that it was invited to compete in 2012 at the international level after winning nationally with a score of 85 per cent.

However, the committee needed $26,000 from the city to enter the international contest and the committee eventually made the decision to go on hiatus due to city budget restraints.

Since 2012 the committee has instead continued with low-cost beautification activities such as community clean-up days, broom bashes, recognition programs for businesses and residents and community workshops.

The city was part of Communities in Bloom but was entered in the non-competitive category. A community is able to defer its participation for up to three years before having to start over at the provincial level.

The committee is requesting council, which was expected to consider the situation at Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press, revert the committee back to its original Community Beautification Committee.

Lambeth said the committee would continue to manage the Adopt-a-Highway program, host community clean-up days and workshops, provide business and residential beautification recognition programs, and provide recommendations to council on beautification matters.

The committee is also recommending council consider funding a Community Beautification Volunteer Program.