Growing Great Places Together

Communities in Bloom International Challenge

2023 - Sejong, South Korea
Are you ready to show the world your amazing hometown?
Are you looking to shine a spotlight on your community’s environmental excellence and share your good practices through a global information exchange network?
Then you’re ready for CiB! 

The Communities in Bloom International Challenge is for communities who want to showcase their current successes and achievements and place themselves on the international stage in a collaborative competition aimed at celebrating achievements within the exacting standards of environmental and cultural stewardship.

Participation in the Challenge is open to any community that has already demonstrated excellence in their own national and/or international environmental competitions and is now seeking a larger stage and a greater challenge.

The International Challenge involves winners from Communities in Bloom, Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland, Japan in Bloom, Comuni Fioriti (Italy), Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and other countries competing with each other based on population categories.

The Communities in Bloom (CiB) program provides a template for bringing everyone together to work towards improving the quality of life for all. It also provides a network of hundreds of communities worldwide with similar goals and objectives to share knowledge, experiences and best practices.

CiB is a volunteer and partnership-driven organization that uses a multi-tiered competitive evaluation process to assess communities that then acts as a catalyst to help foster community strength, involvement and continuous improvement. This nurtures environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, enhancement of green spaces, and the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage. The program assesses all municipal, residential, commercial, and institutional space.

The six judging criteria encompass the whole community and include:

  • Community Appearance 
  • Environmental Action 
  • Heritage Conservation 
  • Tree Management
  • Landscape
  • Plant and Floral Displays 

Within each criterion, there is an emphasis  on total community engagement.

Participating communities have long recognized the benefits of being part of the program from the immediate and direct to the long-term and tangential.

Working within Communities in Bloom can and does have benefits that are real and measurable, and can be realized throughout the various stages of involvement.

Thus, the process is the following:

Communities in Bloom sends information on the program (elements of evaluations) to municipalities: elected officials, park managers, horticultural societies, garden groups.

Municipalities register in the program:

  • 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
  • involve their community (special activities, local contests and awareness)
  • prepare for the evaluation: one or two days

Judges visit the community to provide comments and suggestions and prepare an evaluation report

  •  meetings with local officials, stakeholders and citizens
  •  visit of the community green spaces (municipal, institutions, businesses and residential)
  • provide an evaluation document with observations and recommendations
  • scoring determines the bloom rating ( 1 to 5 ) for municipality

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.

Municipalities are invited to attend our Symposium and Awards.

The 2024 National & International Awards Ceremonies along with the Symposium on Parks & Grounds, will be held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Canada from October 17-20, 2024: 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 section of our website. The website also includes a resource centre featuring information from sponsors and communities along with electronic copies of our magazines.

Social Networks: CiB participants are welcomed to send us updates, news and photos to post on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages: (www.facebook.com/communitiesinbloom ; www.twitter.com/cibcef; www.instagram.com/cibcef/)

Economic benefits 

  • 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

Social benefits

  • 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 further information, please contact

Sonia Parrino, Program Specialist
(bloom@cib-cef.com or 514-694-8871)