Campbell River cleaned up at the national Communities in Bloom awards ceremony.
The city won the national award for Communities in Bloom in the 20,001-50,000 population range, and received five blooms out of five. It also received a special mention for the Baikie Island Restoration Project, the Sustainable Development Award, and an award for having the best community exhibit during the symposium and awards ceremony in Quebec over the weekend.
“It’s huge, it’s big, we’re really excited,” said City of Campbell River parks project supervisor Lynn Wark with a laugh.
“We actually had an incredibly successful year in the community this year. We had a lot of great community partnerships.”
Wark noted improvements like the Laughing Willow Community Garden on Simms Road, and the completion of the Greenways Loop on Jubilee Parkway, among other things.
“The list goes on, we just had a really successful year, like the community’s really getting involved,” added Wark.
During the symposium, all national and international communities had community exhibits on display. According to Wark, Campbell River’s was filled with photographs of many of the things that the judges were shown during their visit to the city at the end of July, and it was a big hit at the symposium, so much so that it won.
“We worked quite hard on putting our community display together this year and won a best exhibit award for it,” explained Wark. “Apparently it attracted a lot of attention.”
This year was the third year that Campbell River competed at the national level of Communities in Bloom. The city received five blooms out of five for the past two years as well but was not the national winner until this year.
Wark said the city will now move on to compete at a higher level next year and she is excited by the opportunity.
“It’s setting the bar very high,” said Wark. “Once you win at nationals you get invited to compete at the international level.”
She stresses that the competition is about much more than pretty flowers, and is judged on a whole slew of different categories.
In fact, judges Normand Rosa and Betty Lamont, evaluated the community based on tidiness; environmental action; heritage conservation; urban forestry; landscape, turf, and groundcovers; and floral displays, with an emphasis on community involvement in each of these areas.
“This whole thing isn’t just about flowers,” said Wark. “It’s about community involvement and everyone working together to make Campbell River a better place to live.”