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Communities in Bloom judges 'impressed' by visit to Cold Lake

Communities in Bloom (CiB) judges stopped by the City of Cold Lake from Aug. 1 to 3, as the city vies for a national award.

COLD LAKE - Communities in Bloom (CiB) judges stopped by the City of Cold Lake from Aug. 1 to 3, as the city vies for a national award.

Judges visiting the city included Susan Ellis, National Chair of the Communities in Bloom organization and national and international judge from Pembroke, Ont., and Tina Liu from Ottawa, Ont. Ellis explained that as they drove around the North and South residential areas of town, they stopped at a variety of places, including the Cold Lake Museums, the downtown area, the waterfront, the beach, the Energy Centre, and the Cold Lake Public Library, adding up points in a variety of categories.

The criteria included appearance, such as first impressions, and notes were made if the judges saw graffiti or garbage. Then, they looked at 62 different areas in the Environmental Actions category such as the water treatment plant and how many LED lights are used downtown.

From there, they look at heritage conservation. This included natural areas like the lake, and how old buildings are cared for, including churches. They also looked at how cultural heritage is celebrated. Landscape, turf and grounds were next on the list. The judges looked at the football fields, checked to see how weeds are dealt with, and looked at tree management and planted forests.

Ellis stated the judges thought the bike park by the Cold Lake Museums was awesome and they noted the city had many fruit bearing trees. The last category was plants and floral displays, and here, the judges took note of the banners, baskets and barrels located in the city.

A breakfast meeting was held on Aug. 3, and now the judges will work to prepare a 10 to 16 page document containing all their observations and recommendations, which will be presented to the city in late September during the National Symposium on Parks and Grounds and the National and International Awards celebrating Northern Blooms being held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. 

“It’s a template for continued success. Cold Lake has done very well this year. The city should be proud of their efforts,” said Ellis. She also praised City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland, City council and Jazelle Robb, Green Space Coordinator with the City of Cold Lake, for jumping on board with the initiative. 

“We were very impressed with Cold Lake.”

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian charitable not-for-profit organization with judges all over the world. This is the 29th edition of the initiative. Communities are rated from one to five blooms as they vie for bronze, silver or gold titles. 

"The recognition is useful because it’s information about how to build a great place to grow," said Ellis, adding, the aim is also to help attract tourists, businesses and new residents to the area.

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