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CiB judges visit Leamington

Leamington residents were being judged last week – on their green thumbs. Judges from the Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition were in town to see how the municipality stacks up when it comes to its bloomin’ beauty. Monday evening, July 23, the town hosted these judges in a special reception at the marina, one of its most beautiful spots. Judges Tina Liu from Ottawa and Susan Ellis of Pembroke were in town as part of a national tour, checking out local residential and corporate gardens. The CiB program is about greening through environmental, natural heritage conservation and horticultural actions that involve citizens, businesses, institutions and municipalities, according to its website. “The program is focused on environmental stewardship through the enhancement of green spaces,” it went on to say. The competition pits municipalities of similar size against one another based on several factors, including tidiness, heritage conservation, floral displays, community involvement, landscape, urban forestry and environmental action. Ellis said they also look at the community’s ability to get people to participate and take pride in their community

The winners of the Fabulous Garden Award winners and Best Bloomin’ Award were recognized for their beautiful landscape and gardens. Some of the winners are pictured here. Front row, left to right: Clair Chase, CiB judge Tina Liu, Elenna DiMenna, Tim Latam, Jayne Latam, CiB judge Susan Ellis, Mary Krueger and Jo-Anne Smith. Back row: Mario DiMenna, Tom Clinton, Debbie Clinton, Kristen Hamilton and guest speaker Kate Derbyshire. (Sun-Journal photo)

One young environmental leader in the community was invited to share her perspective on the local environment and the protection of wetlands with the guests – Kate Derbyshire of Leamington District Secondary School’s Eco Club. Following Derbyshire’s informative discussion, several local residents were recognized for their efforts in the beautification of Leamington. Fabulous Garden Awards were presented to Mario and Elenna DiMenna, Bui and Richard Trang, Larry Cook and Kathy Fulmer, Lucas and Daniella George, Walter and Gerda Meixner, Mike and Kristen Hamilton, Mary Krueger, Tom and Debbie Clinton, and Tim and Jayne Latam. As far as awards for the Best Blooming Award for 2017, they were presented to Jo-Anne Smith (urban), Clair Chase (rural) and Mitch’s Barber Shop owners Keith and Donna Simpson (business). The results for this year’s national entries are expected in September.

The municipality was well represented at the reception for the judges last Monday for the Communities in Bloom competition. From left to right are Councillor John Jacobs, CiB judge Susan Ellis, Mayor John Paterson, Councillor Larry Verbeke, Deputy-Mayor Hilda MacDonald and CiB judge Tina Liu.

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