With spring behind us gardens throughout Lake Country are now filling the air with the sweet aroma of blossoming flowers. Lake Country Council has decided to take advantage of the season to stimulate civic pride.
A nationwide contest called Communities in Bloom is the mechanism that the District has chosen to stir up community spirit.
The program invites a panel of judges to tour Lake Country and rate local achievements in the areas of tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscaping, floral displays and turf and ground cover.
“It’s not just about flowers, it’s about the whole scope of community pride,” says Lake Country Leisure Services Coordinator Sheila Gunn.
Several months ago council budgeted $5,000 to participate in Communities in Bloom at the recommendation of CAO Alberto De Feo who cited numerous social and economic benefits that the program has brought to other communities. In the past communities have noted a decrease in vandalism, positive impacts to property values, benefits to the tourism industry and an increase in community involvement.
The judges critique focuses mainly around public properties but privately owned land comes into play as well. The judges will not examine individual properties; rather they form a general impression of the community’s aesthetic characteristics throughout the course of their tour. Therefore the more residents who get on board and prune their yards into top shape for July 20 when the judges arrive, the better the chance Lake Country has to place well in the contest.
To help promote interest in taking part in Communities in Bloom, the Lake Country Garden Club is sponsoring a contest of its own that coincides with the judges’ visit. The Bloomin’ Garden Contest focuses on individual properties. Entrants can compete in one of five categories: residential garden, residential patio/deck, vegetable or edible garden, business landscape, or xeriscape. Gardens will be judged on overall design, use of plants, maintenance, and water wise planning. The winner will receive a garden trophy to be presented by the Communities in Bloom Judges during their visit. The entry deadline is 4:00 p.m. on June 30 and entry forms are available from the District Hall or at www.lakecountry.bc.ca.