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 *The articles in this section are published under its original language.

  • Celebrating 50 Years of Beautiful Scotland

    Keep Scotland Beautiful is proud and excited to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its community environmental improvement campaign Beautiful Scotland, run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

    The 50th celebratory year culminated in a memorable and exciting award ceremony on 14 September, hosted by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired, where all the groups’ hard work and efforts were celebrated and the Beautiful Scotland awards presented.

    Here is the link to the 50th Anniversary Souvenir Brochure.

    You can see the highlights in the short film below.

    The two week judging tour took place at the start of August and saw Keep Scotland Beautiful’s volunteer judges visiting communities across the country to find the winning groups and the most beautiful local environments.

    Entrants focus their work on the campaigns’ three core pillars of ‘horticultural achievement’, ‘environmental responsibility’ and ‘community participation’, and work hard throughout the year.

    This year, to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations Keep Scotland Beautiful asked entrants to use the four colours of the Keep Scotland Beautiful saltire logo.

    Here are just some of the great examples:

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    Beautiful Perth – one of the five groups representing Scotland in the Royal Horticultural Society UK Britain in Bloom finals this year –  has planted a design based around the Keep Scotland Beautiful logo.

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    Brighter Bothwell has planted the Keep Scotland Beautiful logo and the Beautiful Scotland logo.

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    Kinnesswood in Bloom, which has returned to the competition after a long break, has been very creative with the Keep Scotland Beautiful logo, using recycled milk bottle tops, and created a scarecrow gardener!

  • Kim Waalderbos’ dairy farm dream comes true

    This story originally appeared on AgMoreThanEver.ca.
    Kim Waalderbos

    There was never any question in Kim Waalderbos’ mind that she would grow up to be a dairy farmer.
    From the time she hit her early teens, she began saving and planning for the day that has now arrived – she’s starting a dairy farm in New Brunswick with her boyfriend David deVries.

    Growing up with two sisters on her parents’ dairy farm in Nova Scotia, Kim learned from an early age that farming was a gender-neutral operation. “My dad told us we could do anything but we might have to work a little smarter, not harder, because we weren’t as physically strong as guys,” says Kim.

    For some farm kids, getting a start on their own operation involves working alongside their parents after high school or college. But for Kim’s parents, the potential for discussing farm succession with any of their daughters was something that wouldn’t happen right out of high school. “We were encouraged to get extra schooling or work for someone else, and go out into the world beyond our farm,” says Kim.
    That phase took Kim to Ontario to study dairy science and communications at the University of Guelph. The four-year break lasted a little longer when she added on a master’s degree in dairy science and worked in the agricultural communications industry for a few years.
    However, her long-term goal never faltered. She and David built a business plan, surrounded themselves with a strong team of advisors and lenders, and have recently purchased a vacant dairy operation from a farm family that was relocating. This summer, Kim and David will begin milking 24 cows on their Takes Two Farm at Upper Hainesville, New Brunswick, and crop about 135 acres of both their own and some rented land.

    Kim will be the full-time farmer as David continues his work for a milking equipment company. “Usually, I would be the one going off farm for the job,” says Kim. “But we’re doing things a little different, with the goal of building up our operation to the point where we can both be working here full time.”

    A successful application to the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick New Entrants Program has helped them secure the use of 12 kg of matching quota for up to five years. “This program is helping young farmers like us boost our short-term income without taking on additional debt in the asset-rich, cash-poor scenario of dairy farming,” says Kim.
    Kim says there were skeptics along the way, those expressing doubt that young people, and young women, can get started in dairy farming. Clearly, she wasn’t listening to them, and through dedication, planning and the support of friends and family, her dream of dairying is unfolding. “We did our research and know what we’re getting into,” says Kim.

  • What I value about agriculture

    This story originally appeared on AgMoreThanEver.ca.

    • Author: George Klosler
    • Location: Ontario

     

    I grew up on a farm and this is what I know:
    • Strong family connections. We worked hard celebrating accomplishments with a home cooked meal in the farmhouse kitchen.
    • I learned to be a team player. In the sandy fields of Norfolk County we grew labour intensive crops and had lots of hired help, and with teamwork we completed the harvest.
    • I learned what makes people “tick.” Harvest crews came and went. I have fond memories of many different folks.
    • Learning from mistakes. I remember the day I put gas in the diesel tractor. Lucky for me, my father noticed before I turned the key.
    • A feeling of accomplishment, standing in a pack barn filled with the season’s produce – the result of determination.
    • The largest nuisance – ground-hogs !
    • Grandparents always showed up with a smile, grabbed a rake or a broom and joined along with the work. Oma’s baking was best. I can still smell her apple pie.
    • I learned about entrepreneurship, picking apples from the orchard, selling them from a small road-side stand – my early introduction to the customer experience.
    • As kids, running under the irrigation gun, a trip down to the pond on a hot summer day and a swing in the tree, this was our theme park.
    • We had the same yet we had more…
    • Agriculture: its fun, its flourishing, it’s our future.

     

     

  • The Impossible Farmer

    impossible farmer

    This story originally appeared on AgMoreThanEver.ca

    • Author: Andrea Dawson
    • Location: Val Marie, Saskatchewan

    As long as I can remember I wanted to farm. Which is odd because nobody in my family was involved in farming and the only time I got close to a farm yard as a kid was on a school field-trip or a weekend drive to a pumpkin patch.

    In high school we moved from Calgary to California. I became involved in the FFA. I raised sheep and rabbits at the school farm, started working with horses. In grade 11 I walked out to a nearby garlic farm and started working along side migrant workers, picking garlic, strawberries, asparagus and walnuts during harvest.

    After high school I moved back to Canada and found work at a dairy farm, then a goat dairy, a sunflower farm and a beef operation in Ontario. I grew and sold vegetables at the farmers market in Ottawa. I worked as a groom in a upscale equine centre. I learned to swath, bale, run all sorts and machinery. Though not mechanically inclined, I learned to do basic machine maintenance.

    All the farmers and ranchers I’ve worked for were eager to teach me, and usually patient when I made a mistake. Most thought my best bet to becoming a farmer was to marry one.

    The more I learned about the agricultural industry, the more my ideas and goals changed. When I was 18, I thought by the time I was 30 that it would be possible to buy a farm (I wasn’t quite sure what kind I wanted). I knew I liked working with cows and horses the most.

    I moved to SW Saskatchewan to work on a large cow/calf operation in my late twenties and I’m still here. At 32 I am still trying to figure out how to became a farmer. I rent grassland land to graze my small herd of Black Angus cows. I work for a rancher who allows me to work off winter feed, pasture for my horses, a coop for my chickens and a small patch of soil for my veggie garden.

    I’m not sure if that makes me a farmer or a rancher, but I couldn’t be where I am if people in the industry hadn’t allowed me an opportunity to learn, explore and become involved in their own operations.

     

  • Gardening in the Yukon?

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    When I first came to the Yukon in 1991, I must admit that gardening was from my mind. I came for the mountains and rivers, and a sense of personal space and freedom that the land offered. I lived in a small log cabin with my wife, and though we loved the surroundings of our little cabin in the woods, we were just too busy seeking adventures biking, hiking and paddling to even think about gardening around our place. It wasn’t until we moved away and a young creative woman moved in that I realized what Yukon gardening could be. From her excursions, she brought back special rocks, stumps and even plants to transform the exterior appearance into a very interesting collection of various items-sometimes even artifacts, to transform the yard into a museum of her adventures. It made me realize that much could be done with very little to create a Yukon garden.

    A few years later, wanting to spend more time outdoors, I got back into landscaping and quickly realized that Yukoners really treasure their gardens. It became clear to me that this wasn’t just a hobby to them. It was a mission! They would laugh in the face of May snowfalls, cover their bedding plants well into June and again in late August, just to prove that it was possible to have a garden in the Yukon. It is my theory, that the long dark winter brings out a feverish desire in gardeners to show Mother Nature that they cannot be beaten. The biggest evidence of this is the first sunny weekend in April, when people rush to the garden centers to purchase bedding plants that won’t see the outdoors until June!

    Like most Canadians, the longer days of spring makes Yukon gardeners want to get active because it feels like everything is coming back to life, even if the leaves won’t be out until the end of May. All that sun however, compared to the dark winter days makes everyone feel so alive and eager for action. On the streets, everyone you meet is already making plans for the summer. Everybody knows…there are only ten weekends in a Yukon summer and every one of them counts! If you want a garden, you have to seed it May long weekend, or you won’t have any peas, and your carrots will be puny. It’s all about timing- Making the most of the long daylight hours in June and July. Come September, carrots can be harvested from under a layer of snow, and if they were seeded early, it is amazing to see the growth that can happen under the midnight sun. I must admit however that many vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans and corn will only grow in a greenhouse. For this reason, a very large number of homeowners have greenhouses in their backyards. It is definitely an added value to any Yukon property.

    Most visitors to the Yukon are surprised by the quantities of flowers that adorn the numerous gardens in the Parks and in the Downtown area. The City Parks staff take great pride in offering the residents and tourists a splash of summer colours to contrast with the bleakness of winter. A surprising variety of ornamental trees and shrubs can be found throughout the City as micro-climate sites get used to try growing zone 4 and 5 varieties. However, most zone 2 and 3 ornamental shrubs like roses, potentillas, dogwoods, currants, ninebarks and lilacs can be grown in most areas as long as they are not too exposed to the frequent high winds and receive a bit of care. Some newly developed varieties of Cherries and Haskap have recently gained a lot of popularity as they have helped fill a void of available edible fruit shrubs.
    Although climate change is a highly discussed topic worldwide, in the eyes of Yukoners, it is an accepted fact that we are seeing its effects already. For example, we have not had deep cold periods in the last 3 winters. Where -30C was a common thing in December, January and February, we now get a few days of -20C. Many have also started to notice that some insects that had never been seen before; are making their appearance now. Personally, in my 20 years of gardening and landscaping here, I have noted that climate change has had a significant impact. Not so much in increasing our summer temperatures, but in increasing our number of frost free days. The result has been an increased chance of survival for a greater number of zone 4 and 5 plants to survive. This has made many gardeners very happy indeed. So, in the short term at least, climate change has been positive for us.

    If there is one thing I have learned from gardening in the north though, it is that everything that gets planted, is placed with careful consideration to a multitude of micro-environmental factors, that will maximise its growth. This is extreme gardening! There are no guarantees, and everything is an experiment. But the rewards! Ah, that is what keeps us all trying year after year to find the right plant for that one spot, or is it the right spot for that one plant? Yes, much can be learned from gardening on the edge, but the lesson that I receive over and over again, is the incredible desire to survive that inhabits all living things.

    This is Yukon gardening!

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  • Broadway (Orangeville, ON)

      Orangeville Broadway - GPC Great Street

    Broadway

    Broadway, in downtown Orangeville, is the hub of the community’s social, cultural, and economic activities. From specialty shops and businesses to historical buildings, from street festivals and popular eateries to unique landscape features, Broadway is a kaleidoscope of all that’s vibrant and interesting about the community’s life. Where else would you see a waterfall, a clock tower, and an imposing sculpture in the middle of the main street?

    Established as a road about 175 years ago, Broadway quickly became the heart of Orangeville, and today, is a protected and celebrated heritage district. With 100 feet between buildings on the north and south sides of the street (instead of the usual 66 feet), this street is one of the widest main streets in Ontario.

    Broadway is a prime example of a strong and charming street that succeeds as a social and commercial centre, and as a cultural and entertainment hub. Friends meet in cozy cafes and outdoor patios, while visitors photograph street art and discover interesting shops.
    Broadway is distinctive, due in part to three central medians that transform the streetscape and relay some local history. The unique landscaping features and architectural elements of the medians tell the tale of Orangeville’s evolution from forested area to urban centre. The medians draw a lot of attention, as do the unique tree sculptures lining Broadway – ranging from tributes to local sports champions to historical figures and even a few whimsical creations. Broadway is well known for exceptional shopping and dining opportunities, accented by heritage buildings including a prominent Town Hall and library. All these elements deliver an undeniable charm and a fun experience.
    The historic clock tower, cupola atop Town Hall, and the striking statue of the Town’s founder Orange Lawrence are all recognizable symbols showcasing Broadway’s charming and historic demeanor – all to be seen on the Heritage Orangeville “Booming Broadway” walking tour.
    So not only is Broadway a street to be experienced, who can resist saying they spent time on Broadway? The community is proud of its landmark main street with the prominent name.

     

    Events and Festivals
    Being the heart of the Town, Broadway has always been a key location for festivals and events in Orangeville. Broadway hosts many of the Town’s festivals and events, such as the provincially-recognized Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival, the Founders’ Fair, the Downtown Orangeville Harvest Celebration, and the weekly Orangeville Farmers’ Market. And just off Broadway is the annual Taste of Orangeville and Rotary Craft Beer Fest. All these events contribute to making this bustling street thrive. Thousands of people visit these events, creating a strong economy in the downtown core. In fact, the Farmers’ Market drew more than 52,000 guests in 2014. With plenty of free parking, walking proximity to most Town locations, a regular transit system, and a new free bicycle lock-up tent for select festivals, everyone is able to experience Broadway’s excitement and entertainment.

     The charming ambience of downtown Broadway is a strong draw for both residents and visitors. Beautiful floral displays as well as trees and shrubs, historical architecture, and sidewalk cafes all lend themselves to that inescapable small-Town vibe.
    Another great source of entertainment is theatrical productions in the historic Opera House, located on Broadway within Town Hall. Theatre Orangeville has been producing live professional theatre since 1994 and offers plays of many different genres, appealing to a variety of audiences. Live theatre has proven to be an essential element for the community’s vitality and serves as a major tourism driver for the Town and downtown Broadway.

     History
    Jesse Ketchum inherited property in Orangeville from his uncle in the 1850s. A resident of Toronto, he had visited New York and thought the fledgling Town could become something “big” so he changed the name of the dirt track serving as a main street to Broadway. He then had streets and lots surveyed, providing numerical names for the streets and avenues – just like New York.

    The founding period of Orangeville was followed by an increase in business and commercial development on both sides of Broadway. A hardware store, a carriage company, the Grand Hotel, and Graham’s Tavern were among the first businesses located on Broadway.
    With a population of 1,200, Orangeville was officially incorporated as a village of Wellington County on December 22, 1863 – a full four years before Canada’s incorporation. It became an official Town in 1875, the same year that the Town Hall was constructed on Broadway.
    Fire was a constant threat in the downtown core, and a bylaw was passed in 1875 authorizing brick as the only acceptable cladding for downtown commercial buildings. Today you can still see remnants of the original style. There are several existing buildings on Broadway that are designated historic properties under the Ontario Heritage Act, such as Graham’s Tavern c. 1860, the Commercial Hotel c. 1864, and Town Hall c. 1875. Various architectural styles are visible, from Italianate to Georgian to Second Empire.

    Development
    The development of central medians on Broadway, separating eastbound and westbound traffic, has come to define the Town in recent years. The medians represent the Town’s evolution from a natural forested area to a mill-based village to an urban centre.
    Designed by landscaping students at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the most easterly median, in front of the Town Hall, features a pergola with stone columns and a white cedar roof structure. The most prominent feature in this median is the statue of Orange Lawrence, the founder of the Town, created from magnesium phosphate. The 7.5-foot sculpture stands on a base and towers above street level to welcome those coming into Town. He’s depicted with his jacket over his shoulder and sleeves rolled up with plans in his hands – ready to start work on the mills he built in Orangeville’s formative years.
    The central median features a clock tower. The clock was originally built and installed on the old post office in 1936 where it remained until the post office was demolished in 1963. The clock sat atop the Town Hall from 1980 to 1993 until the Town Hall was renovated. The marble timepiece weighs about 2,000 pounds.

    The westerly median features a waterfall, with water falling in four directions representing the fact that Orangeville sits at the headwaters of four river systems. The design of the waterfall includes rougher features on the east and west faces so the water cascades more. The north and south sides, which are more exposed to the wind, have been designed to be smooth so the water clings to the wall better and minimizes spray on the roadway. The water goes into a pool at the base of the waterfall and is recirculated. Some water runs along a chute to the top of a symbolic waterwheel, representing the emergence of the mills and its energy source — and the village that became Orangeville.

    The renovation, over the years, of the Town Hall & Opera House as well as the Orangeville Public Library, have preserved beautiful heritage buildings and ensured that central Broadway remains a people place. The prominent structure of the Orangeville Town Hall is a great example of a government building of the late nineteenth century, with Georgian elements. Historically, the building functioned as a public market and a Town Hall. Today, the Town Hall houses the municipal administrative offices and the Opera House is the primary venue for theatrical performances and is managed by Theatre Orangeville. The Town Hall is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

    The development of the “Town Centre” – a residential condominium complex – has created more people living space in the downtown core. More and more Broadway property owners have renovated their upper storeys for unique residential accommodation. The Broadway Grand development has also completed a residential complex downtown and will add more commercial buildings to front Broadway.

    While businesses on Broadway act as a draw to the area, so does another new development project. The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit constructed a three-storey building on Broadway. Great care was taken to ensure this new building reflected the historical development of the community and complemented Broadway’s architecture. Public services are required in downtowns as they act as a destination to individuals seeking that type of service, thus creating another reason to come downtown.

    The development of several unique restaurants has made Broadway a destination for “foodies”. From Rustik to the Black Wolf Smokehouse, to the Bluebird Café, there is no shortage of wonderful dining experiences. In fact, three of the downtown restaurants have been featured on the “You Gotta Eat Here” television series. One of Orangeville’s oldest buildings (1854) – originally a tavern operated by the Town’s founder – has just been transformed into Steakhouse 63. The stones in the building are a match to those found in nearby Mill Creek and the building is one of the most well-known historic sites in Town. It’s got charm, it’s got history – and some believe that it’s also got a ghost.

    Broadway has many attractive storefronts, thanks in part to the Town’s Façade Improvement Grant program. Since 1999 when the incentive program was introduced, there has been a total of $456,682.37 invested by the Town in facades along Broadway with an additional $1,616, 231.32 in private investment. This is an excellent example of government and private enterprise collaborating for the economic benefit of the community.

    The creation of tree sculptures has added character to Broadway and those pieces of art now serve as a major tourism driver for the community. They also tell stories about Orangeville’s past, promote art, and demonstrate our community spirit. Whether it’s the Story Teller tree sculpture outside the library, or the Letter Carrier sculpture adjacent to the Post Office, the sculptures are unique and are part of the Town’s Art Walk of Tree Sculptures program that draws tourists from far and wide to see the 50-plus works of art.

    Accessibility
    Walking distance from most of Town, and a bike ride or transit bus ride away from the rest of Orangeville, Broadway is easily accessible. For visitors to the community, Broadway is right off Highways 9 and 10 so it’s readily accessible and visible for motorists. Wide sidewalks, bicycle posts, on-street parallel parking, and plenty of free public parking can accommodate many kinds of transportation in the downtown core. The street runs straight east and west; hence, it’s easy to navigate. But motorists will want to stop and check out the amenities and shops as they drive along Broadway.

    The Town of Orangeville values a barrier-free community, and has undertaken many initiatives to promote accessibility. Some great examples on Broadway include:
    • APS signals (Audible signals that tweet and chirp to let pedestrians with poor vision know which light is green at intersections)
    • Countdown signals at traffic lights
    • Opera house: hearing devices installed, portable wheelchair lift for the stage, ramped aisles and 16 wheelchair spaces as well an elevator
    • Bus transit schedule is posted in large fonts at each stop, with benches and shelters installed at many stops
    • Bright yellow painted curbs downtown for visually impaired to see where curb ends
    • Enlarged street signs at major Broadway intersections for better visibility
    • Many businesses are fully accessible and portable suitcase ramps are available for other businesses to make entranceways accessible

    Demographics

    Broadway offers a great variety of shopping and dining opportunities that cater to different demographics. Some businesses cater to both youths and adults. Koros Games has a huge appeal for the gaming community. And “Club Art” offers regular art programs and open studio nights, hosted by local artists. Different themes and art mediums have proven popular with youths. Two dance studios on Broadway add to Broadway’s cultural scene – and help to draw more young people downtown.

    A wide range of retail boutiques, offering everything from art and home décor to apparel and jewellery, attracts adults with diverse interests. Broadway has a lot to offer – whether you’re on a mission for a particular item or just in the mood to browse, whether you’re looking for sporting gear or equestrian supplies. You can find banks, hair salons, employment centres, law firms, media companies, kitchen and home décor specialty shops, yoga studios, an art gallery, a driving school, an arts supply business, health care professionals and much more.  Artists also have a reason to come to Broadway, aside from painting scenes on the street. “Dragonfly Arts on Broadway” is an art gallery and shop, with artists’ studio spaces, and it has become a popular destination over the years.

    One of the main attractions that draws people to Broadway is the amazing selection of restaurants and cafes. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just dessert you’re after, there’s always a place to go that will suit your needs and satisfy your hunger. Many restaurants offer sit-down as well as take-out service — and even patio dining during the warm seasons. Choose between sandwich shops, coffee houses, chocolate shops and candy stores, fine dining, gourmet smoothies, pubs, and pizza parlours.

    The nightlife destination on Broadway includes Holbrooks Grill & Sports Bar. With more than 50 TVs and a modern atmosphere, it’s a great place to watch the game and grab a beer. On weekends, live acoustic artists, three-piece bands and DJs fill the place with high energy music and entertainment until 2 a.m.

    There are the more fun venues to enjoy during the evening. The Tipsy Toad Pub & Grill, the Barley Vine Rail Company Bistro & Pub, Steakhouse 63, and the Black Wolf Smokehouse offer live entertainment and a fun night out.

    The various festivals and events around Broadway offer plenty of activities for children and families, with live music, buskers, magicians, and vendors. The Saturday Farmers’ Market at the Town Hall draws all ages and has become a go-to destination. Having the Opera House right on Broadway is another plus, given the diverse and steady crowds that it attracts, from seniors matinees to performances for school children. It offers everything from concerts to professional theatrical performances.

     Orangeville’s slogan is “Historic Charm…Dynamic Future”. Broadway, being the heart of the town, encompasses historical charm, provides charisma with diverse businesses, entertains with great events, and promotes strong community spirit. Broadway is a huge part of the community’s identity. It’s both an attraction and a destination.
    Broadway is a really great place.

    References: http://www.orangeville.ca/home-page/history-of-orangeville/broadway-medians

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  • “Manitoba’s Valley Paradise” Minnedosa, Manitoba

    Minnedosa, MB 248-e63c4f126fb8e2c22cc36ca24ade7bfe_001+Neighborhood

    A 2015 Five Blooms winner, Minnedosa has long been regarded as a popular summer getaway for families each summer owing to its spectacular beach and outdoor recreation amenities. However while many rural communities across the prairies are showing population declines, Minnedosa is seeing some encouraging growth.

    The active involvement of young families in developing the culture of their community is reflected in the work conducted by the amateur athletic associations for development of new baseball fields and soccer pitches, in the development of biking trails in the surrounding hills, and the creation of a new riverside activity park with disc golf, dog park, walking trails, picnic area and more. The community, set against one of the most picturesque backdrops in the Province, has fully embraced the wonders of their landscape and have created opportunities for visitors and residents alike to enjoy all the community has to offer.

    Though enjoying an active summer recreation schedule, it is important to note that the community is not just open for visitors in the summer, but is instead a four season destination. Minnedosa Lake becomes a popular site for a village of ice fishing enthusiasts and each February the community hosts a pond hockey tournament out on the Lake attracting teams from across the Province. An acclaimed ski hill and an active snowmobile club in the area create a bustle of activity all winter long.

    Progress and development are also major factors in the community’s ongoing success. Plans are underway for the development of a new primary care centre to aid in doctor recruitment and retention for the area and a new arena project aims to embolden the community’s ability to host large events. Recreation, culture, landscape and forward vision all contribute to Minnedosa’s recognition as “Manitoba’s Valley Paradise”.

  • Millet, AB

    Millet AB - Cenotaph Garden

    Pride and community spirit are two qualities Millet possesses in abundance. These qualities were once again evident with the creation of a 30 foot diameter wagon wheel of cemented spokes, rim and hub. Low growing drought resistant perennials were planted between the spokes. Each area planted with its own colour and the colours used were red, white, yellow, purple and pink. Resting on top of the hub is an engraved rock reading ‘Millet Communities in Bloom’ 20th Anniversary’, ‘1996-2015’. At the edge of the garden is a plaque recognizing all the contributions to this $10,000 project that included in-kind support. This garden site is located in Pipestone Park and close to a well used road making it easily accessible by vehicle or foot traffic making it an added addition to other gardens in the park. Groundwork for the wagon wheel was provided by Town of Millet Public Works. Framing materials were provided by Home Hardware at a discounted price and volunteers did the framing. Wetaskiwin Ready-Mix provided the cement at 50% cost. Pouring of the cement by machine with Parks and Recreation staff and Communities in Bloom volunteers tamping and leveling. Once the cement dried and the framing removed by volunteers, public works staff dumped soil for volunteers to level. Plants were provided by Arbor Greenhouses and planted by Communities in Bloom volunteers and Griffiths Scott Middle School students. Stepping stones placed throughout were made by Communities in Bloom
    volunteer Stan Kroening. The engraved rock done by Stonewriters who provided the installation free of charge. Other businesses, organizations and individuals provided funds to assist with the project cost. All contributors are listed on a
    brass plaque installed at the edge of the garden. All contributors were also recognized at the Appreciation Dinner, Local Competition Awards & Welcome to the Judges.

     

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  • Promoting Tree Planting in Lambton Shores

    Lambton Shores, ON tree+sale+4

    In the early evening of July 27, 2014, a tornado ripped through a wide area in Lambton Shores, leaving a path of destruction behind it.

    Thankfully, property damage was modest. But the tornado passed through heavily forested areas, taking down hundreds of trees. Among them were grand old oak trees that were part of the rare Oak Savannah ecosystem. As life slowly returned to normal, the community began to think about how to restore the tree cover. The Grand Bend Community Foundation stepped forward with special funding, and a small committee of citizens and community partners came together to create the 5,000 Trees Project. “It was hard to see so many trees toppled after the tornado,” says co-Chair Max Morden. “The Project was a positive response that helped raise spirits.”

    The committee held two tree sales in 2015. Residents had the option of ordering 20 or more trees from the Conservation Authority, and receiving a $50 subsidy, or buying a smaller number of trees at the sale itself. Two education sessions took place in early spring, providing useful information about how to plant and care for native trees in local conditions. By the time of the fall tree sale, the Project even had its own tree mascot! In all, the Project saw some 1,700 trees sold and planted in 2015. The committee is continuing to plan tree sales and related activities, with a goal of reaching at least 5,000 trees planted within 10 years. It is also beginning to expand to a broader focus on issues of climate change and
    biodiversity.

    “We understand the environmental benefit of our trees in Lambton Shores,” says Morden. “The Project is a great way
    for people to come together to benefit our community and our planet.”

  • Hope, BC

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    Hope is nestled at the far end of the Fraser Valley, the most popular valley in British Columbia, among the peaks of the Cascade and Coast mountains. Hope is surrounded by a diverse coastal rainforest and bordered on two sides with the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers.

    The area around Hope was first settled nearly 9,000 years ago by the Sto:lo First Nation. Sto:lo traders, hunters and gathers established the trails through the mountains and routes via the rivers that later would be co-opted by the Hudson’s Bay Company (1848) and those seeking their fortune in the FraserRiver Gold Rush (1858).

    Hope CiB is a diverse group of people coming together to foster volunteerism throughout our community. With a population of 6,000 people we have a high percent of retirees moving to Hope from the lower Fraser Valley. Along with our local residents, CiB has a huge resource of skilled volunteers willing to donate their time to projects for the betterment of Hope. Our “I’m a bloomin’ volunteer” t-shirts are worn as a badge of honour to be part of a team giving back.

    To be a successful CiB, you need long term funding to keep the planning of projects moving forward. We have (2) five year agreements with the District of Hope plus a small amount of money put aside yearly for projects in the future. One agreement is for the maintenance of the chainsaw carvings, which are located throughout the District of Hope. We are building a storage and maintenance department

    with the help of Advantage Hope. A few years ago, the carvings were showing their age and we had lost a number due to lack of maintenance. Hope CiB set about to undertake the task of sanding, gluing, wedging and refinishing the carvings to save them. This weekly workbee goes on throughout the entire year. In 2015 we hosted the World Class Chainsaw Carving Competition with 10 carvers from around the world. Over the 4 days we had 4,200 people attend this amazing display of art. With the help of our media partners were Black Press and Connect Media Team, we reached over ¾ million people for this event.

    The second agreement with the District of Hope is to fund all our projects, such as Earth Day, Trash 2

    Treasure, Graffiti control, plant & flower displays, organic weed control and cleanups. Another important point to our success is having the District of Hope work crew on board with our program and helping out with many of our projects.

    Hope CiB is about partnering with others in the community to leverage relationships for the greater good. We’re consistently looking for new way to make our community better. We are all about taking pride in our town’s appearance. Having a positive attitude really does make a difference!

    Written by: Victor Smith, Chair of Hope CiB

  • Fort Erie, Ontario

    Fort+Erie+Friendship+Trail+(2)

    Nestled between Lake Erie on the south and the mighty Niagara River to the east, lies the picturesque Town of Fort Erie. Comprised of several communities including Crystal Beach, Bridgeburg, Ridgeway and Stevensville, each with its own distinctive character and history, and covering 169 square kilometers, Fort Erie is home to approximately 30,000 permanent residents. An additional 10,000 seasonal residents call this charming town home during the summer.

    With an impressive 12,500 year history, Fort Erie is blessed with anX abundance of natural beauty including beautiful sand beaches, recreational trails, woodlands and wetlands. It has been one of Canada’s major gateways and border crossings throughout its history, and is the fourth largest and fastest growing urban centre in the Niagara Region. Within a relatively short span of time, Fort Erie has shown time and again just what can be achieved with creative and careful use of resources, the commitment of many dedicated volunteers, and the support of Town Council as well as the broader community.

    We hope that what we have done here can serve as inspiration for other communities, regardless of their size or resources. The old adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way” has certainly been taken to heart by the residents of Fort Erie!

    Having only joined the Communities in Bloom family in 2004, Fort Erie has achieved a number of impressive of accomplishments:

    2004
    5 Blooms, Provincial Competition – Recognized for Landscaped Areas

    2005
    4 Blooms, National Competition – Recognized for Dedicated Heritage

    2006
    Blooms, National Competition – Recognized for Heritage Preservation

    2009
    5 Blooms, National Competition – Recognized for Community Participation in Floral Displays

    2012
    Winner, National Competition – Recognized for Point Abino Lighthouse Restoration

    2013/2014
    Circle of Excellence

    2015
    Honourable Mention, International Challenge
    5 Bloom Silver Status
    Recognition of Volunteer Involvement and Recognition

  • Tulips in the Capital Region of Alberta

    Edmonton, AB_Tulip

    Tulips in the Capital Region of Alberta? That’s what was gifted to our Edmonton community by Vesey’s Bulbs of P.E.I.

    with support from the Canadian Garden Council in October of last year. We are looking forward to the blooming of 350 red and 350 white tulips this May while we welcome new sounds and smells of spring. Edmonton was one of 11

    communities in Alberta and one of 141 communities in Canada to receive the tulips, and we are very proud to host the garden at the Dutch Canadian Centre located within the City of Edmonton.

    Tulips represent the role that Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of The Netherlands during the Second World War, as well as the hosting of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa, Canada during this tumultuous time in Europe. Frank Stolk, President of Edmonton’s Dutch Cultural Centre is enthralled with the gift: “This garden is a legacy. It’s a majestic monument which we are proud to showcase here at the centre for the enjoyment of current and future generations, reminding both of Edmonton’s and Canada’s global ties.” With the help of the Edmonton Horticultural Society, the City of Edmonton plans to celebrate the blooming of these tulips each year, and with the Dutch Canadian Club as hosts, much of the theme of this ceremony will focus on Dutch culture and traditions, as well as honoring the fallen soldiers of the Second World War. We are excited to have such a unique and vibrant garden in our blooming community in western Canada!

    For more information, please contact Amber Brant at amber.brant@edmonton.ca

    Edmonton, AB1

    Edmonton, AB2

  • Drayton Valley Communities in Bloom

    Drayton Valley, AB IMG_2555

    The Drayton Valley Communities in Bloom committee has continued to be active in promoting multi-generational education opportunities with a focus on stewardship and involving partnerships with local stakeholders. Our most notable project of the past two years has included the creation of Historical Plaques on buildings in the downtown area. To date we have four plaques, with a pamphlet to direct persons on a “historical walk” around town. A Historical App is being investigated to expand on the information this provides for this ongoing project. In 2015 our group granted financial support of the Legion’s display cabinet, the DV Legacy project and the ECDC insect discovery program. Our summer movie offering was “Footloose” which was a free community event in our Omniplex. In September we supported the EPAC Alberta Culture Days program featuring the University of Alberta Symphony; in October an important fall highlight was the planting of Dutch Canadian Friendship tulips at the south entrance to town. We continue to work on erecting historical plaques around town as part of a history walk/tourism initiative, and have had some involvement with GET/food security group relative to the learning garden in front of the civic centre.

    Our Lawn Chair Theatre (the outdoor movie reinvented) has been an annual event for the past three years. Once again we provided a free, family oriented winter event as we present the “Princess Bride” at the end of January, where the community was invited to bring their own chairs &/or blankets and free popcorn and hot chocolate was provided. All of the feedback from the evening was very positive as the community was very receptive and thankful for the event, especially that is was free and a nice night out in the winter.

  • CARBERRY MANITOBA -‘A HERITAGE TOWN’

    Carberry 1 Carberry 2

    Late in 1881, the Canadian Pacific Railway crossed the Plain. The town of De Winton, L % miles east of the present townsite of Carberry, was booming with stores, a post office, hotel and grain warehouses. lt came to the notice of the directors of the CPR that some railway officials
    had an interest in the land within De Winton. lt was the policy of the railway to keep its officials from making persona! profits on land speculation. So the directors moved quickly.

    One night in the spring of 1882, one hundred imported men moved the station west into the sandhills. Thus the fate of De Winton was sealed.

    The CPR selected the present townsite in 1882 and Carberry owes its existence to the Railway. At that time the CPR bought the land from Mr. John Bailey of Omemu, Ontario for 532,000.00. Two years before, Mr. Bailey had paid $550.00 for it.

    As the town grew and like most prairie towns in Manitoba, Carberry has experienced ongoing physical renewal over the last 130 years, with older buildings burned or torn down and replaced with newer structures .Exceptions to this process are precious, and for that reason, the Town of CARBERRY stands out. Two blocks of Main Street comprise of twenty eight, mostly brick buildings, al! of them deemed significant for their architectural and historical value. For this reason, Carberry has garnered the distinction of having Manitoba’s first, and so far, only “Heritage District”.

    Although we still have the CNR and CPR railways running through town, we lost the stations. The CPR station at the end of Main Street was dismantled in 1971. The Town Council and Chamber of Commerce did their very best to save the building, but to no avail. ‘There is only a vacant lot where once stood a beautiful piece of architecture, in which was embodied a host of memories.”

    For this reason the Carberry Communities in Bloom have chosen as their Number One Project to build a Picnic Shelter, in the CPR Park on Fourth Ave., the roof replicating the CPR station. Fund raising is underway through our April Brunch, Silent Auction on Heritage Weekend, BBQ on Judging Day, Donations and Silent Auction and Bake Table at the Christmas Craft Sale.

    Submitted by Mona Nelson, Chair of CiB Carberry

  • Town of Cobourg to Participate in 2016 Communities in Bloom Program

    Cobourg Communities in Bloom Committee Announces Local Garden Competition

    (Cobourg, ON) April 8, 2016 – The Town of Cobourg is pleased to announce that we will be participating in the 2016 Communities in Bloom provincial program.

    Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.

    The program promotes friendly competition between Canadian communities to beautify civic spaces.

    Communities across Ontario are evaluated by a volunteer jury of trained professionals on the accomplishments of their entire community. Volunteer judges will visit Cobourg for two days in July to evaluate the community based on the following key criteria:

    • Tidiness
    • Environmental action
    • Heritage conservation
    • Urban forestry
    • Landscape
    • Floral displays
    • Community involvement
    • Youth involvement
    • Community of gardeners

    All participants are showcased on the Communities in Bloom website through the “Explore our Communities” section, with a description page and a link to their respective community website. The Communities in Bloom Magazine, published twice a year, also features participants and program results.

    The Town of Cobourg has struck a new Communities in Bloom Committee with Chair David Cromlish leading the way. The Communities in Bloom Committee will be responsible for engaging local organizations regarding the benefits of participating in the program. The Committee will showcase the Town when the volunteer judges visit in July. Committee members include Councillor Theresa Rickerby, Joseph Peristy, Roma Colbert, Gina Brouwer, Trish Whitney, John Draper and staff Teresa Behan and Renee Champagne.

    “Participation in the Communities in Bloom program promotes civic pride and encourages the community to be interested and engaged in showcasing their home town, says Councillor Theresa Rickerby, Coordinator of Parks and Recreation Services.” “Cobourg has been very successful with this program in the past, winning five blooms for Heritage Conservation in 1997. When Campaigning for Town Council, this was an initiative I sought to bring back because of the excellent benefit it has for tourism and culture. We are very excited to announce our participation and look forward to working with all members of the community on this exiting endeavor.”

    The Cobourg Communities in Bloom Committee is also pleased to announce that they will be hosting a Garden Competition as a local initiative. Eligible contestants for the Garden Competition are homeowners, schools and businesses. Prizes will be awarded to the top three contestants in each category.

    To register for the Cobourg Garden Competition please email blooms@cobourg.ca . Committee members will be judging these local gardens in June, 2016.

    For additional information on Communities in Bloom visit their website at http://www.communitiesinbloom.ca/.

     

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    Media Contact
    Ashley Purdy
    Communications Officer

    Town of Cobourg
    p: 905-372-4301 ext 4105

    e: apurdy@cobourg.ca

    About The Town of Cobourg
    The Town of Cobourg is a lakeside community (population 18,500) located on the north shore of Lake Ontario halfway between Toronto and Kingston and has been recognized multiple times by MoneySense Magazine as “One of Canada’s Best Places to Live” in populations under 25,000.

    Founded in 1798, Cobourg is rich in heritage offering a vibrant downtown, sophisticated small town atmosphere and renowned waterfront that serves as a popular getaway destination.  As the largest town in Northumberland County, Cobourg is personified by historic Victoria Hall, hosts a 27.4 million community centre, an educated and skilled labour force, flourishing commercial sector and supportive municipal government. Cobourg has received the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Award, accolades from the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, and multiple heritage, environmental, and event awards.