The International Challenge involves winners from different National Programs (Communities in Bloom, Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland, Japan in Bloom, Entente Florale, Comuni Fioriti and other national programs) competing with each other based on population categories.
Communities in Bloom organizes the International Challenge (logistics, scheduling, and information) in partnership with America in Bloom, Britain in Bloom and Tidy Towns of Ireland.
The program consists of communities receiving information and being evaluated by an international jury on the accomplishments of their entire community:
- Businesses and Institutions
- Citizens and community groups
The evaluation, which normally takes place in June or July, is based on the following criteria:
- Environmental Action
- Heritage Conservation
- Urban Forestry
- Landscaped Areas
- Turf & Groundcovers
- Floral Displays
Note: Community Involvement is taken into consideration in all criteria
Communities pay a registration fee (based on population), provide accommodations for the jury (2 international judges) while in their community (Communities in Bloom is responsible for travel between countries).
The judges visit the community for 1 to 2 days (as community involvement is an important element) using the Communities in Bloom Evaluation Form.
Communities receive a comprehensive report based on the evaluation criteria along with:
- Bloom rating ( 4 or 5 blooms)
- Bronze, silver and gold levels for evaluated communities who will have obtained 5 blooms
- Opportunity to submit for Outstanding Achievement Awards and Special Recognitions.
Thus, the process is the following:
- Communities in Bloom send information on the program (elements of evaluations) to municipalities: elected officials, park managers, horticultural societies, garden groups.
- Municipalities register in the program:
o pay a registration fee based on population
- provide transport from and to nearest airport or train station
- provide accommodation for the judges: normally 2 judges for 2 nights
o involve their community (special activities, local contests and awareness)
o prepare for the evaluation: one or two days
- Judges visit the community to provide comments and suggestions and prepare an evaluation report
o meetings with local officials, stakeholders and citizens
o visit of the community green spaces (municipal, institutions, businesses and residential)
o evaluation document with observations and recommendations
o scoring determines the bloom rating ( 1 to 5 ) for municipality
- Municipalities are invited to attend Symposium and Awards.
The Awards are presented during the Communities in Bloom National Awards. The 2016 Symposium and Awards, hosted by the Saskatchewan Parks and Receation Association will be held in Regina from October 26 to 29, 2016: International Finalists are provided with promotional opportunities during the events.
The program also provides for promotional and educational opportunities along with special projects.
www.communitiesinbloom.ca: CiB’s website gives visibility to our participants in the NewsComm and Explore our Communities section of our website. The website also includes a resource centre featuring information from sponsors and communities along with electronic copies of our magazines.
Information Exchange Network: Information and documents gathered by the judges and made available on the Leisure Information Network (LIN) website. (www.lin.ca/communities-in-bloom)
Magazine: Published twice-yearly, also showcases participants with photos, results and articles. The magazine is also presented electronically on the website (in the resource centre).
- Best practices and information exchange to maximize effectiveness of expenditures
- Valuable information and feedback from the judges
- Marketing and promotional opportunities
- Positive benefits for the tourism, hospitality and retail industries
- Increased civic pride, community involvement and improved quality of life
- Mobilization of citizens, groups, businesses and municipality working together
- Participation from all ages and walks of life learning more about their community
- Information exchanges with provincial, national and international communities
Environmental stewardship through the enhancement of green spaces
- Improving air quality through tree planting and preservation of green spaces
- Improvements in energy and water conservation
- Awareness of environmental sustainability
For registration information, please contact Raymond Carrière, Founding President (firstname.lastname@example.org or 514-912-6535