Enhancing Green Spaces
in Communities
People, Plants and Pride… Growing Together

Symposium Presentations

Held in conjunction with the annual national and international awards ceremonies, this event is a unique opportunity for elected officials, parks and grounds professionals and community volunteers to learn and share about current issues, trends and challenges not only in horticulture and gardening, but in community tourism and projects, environmental awareness, and much more.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

World in Bloom, how “In Bloom” programs work around the world!

Representatives from these organizations will make a brief presentation on their respective programs:
Bernadette Solon – Tidy Towns of Ireland, Program Adjudicator (PDF Presentation)
Mauro Paradisi – Comuni Fioriti, Italy, Construction Manager for the City of Avigliana (PDF Presentation)
Karin Rindall – America in Bloom, USA, Research Consultant (PDF Presentation)
Dr Andrea Bocsi – Communities in Bloom representative in Hungary (PDF Presentation)

  • People and the Beaver Hills
    Pamela Sparklingeyes, Edmonton Catholic Schools, Indigenous Learning Services

In her presentation, Pam Sparklingeyes will share a reflection of the cultural history of the local land and the people who were here pre-contact. The land is called Amiskwaciy, which is Cree for “The Beaver Hills” and is one of 18 biospheres in Canada designated by UNESCO. In her talk, Pam will explore our relationships with the land and how contact changed land use. She will discuss the significance of Treaty signing, the responsibilities of all Treaty members (settlers and First Nations), and the current Indigenous issues. (PDF Presentation)

  • GRO1000 …Mission accomplished and so many great gardens
    Karen Stephenson, Director, Regulatory and Stakeholder Relations, Scotts Canada Limited and Raymond Carrière, Founding President, Communities in Bloom

ScottsMiracle-Gro launched GRO1000 in 2011 to create 1,000 gardens and green spaces across Canada, the United States and Europe by 2018. Karen and Raymond will take us on a tour of the 67 gardens to present some of the many best practices and innovative gardens that have involved youth, provided healthy food to the less fortunate and allowed communities to share ideas …and to learn from each other. You will also hear about Scotts Canada’s new community garden and green space grant program to support the love of gardens and gardening in our communities. (PDF Presentation)

    Carol Maier, Country Road Greenhouses, Owner

Growing in zones 2 and 3 can be very challenging, especially for fruit gardeners. Carol will talk about hardy fruit, showing slides of fruiting trees and shrubs, from spring bloom all the way to harvest. You will be surprised what we can grow in our zone, including table grapes! (PDF Presentation – coming soon)

    Mike Jenkins, City of Edmonton, Pest Coordinator

The three most beneficial types of insects to have in your garden are predators, parasitoids and pollinators. This session will cover tips on encouraging their presence and the benefits of having these insects in your backyard, including their ability to keep pests such as aphids, caterpillars and grubs in check. (PDF Presentation)

    Dora Berry, Natures Elements – Landscapes, Gardens, & Habitats

The way you garden can nurture your whole-health: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Gardening can greatly improve your health in body and mind, but also in your relationships with family, community, nature, and even your faith. It is proven to prevent illness and prolong life. Join Dora to learn how you can garden in ways that benefit your well-being, through self-care and empowerment, and community-enrichment! (PDF Presentation)

1) Twelve Practical Tips for Engaging & Recruiting Volunteers
Information Volunteer Centre

Attracting volunteers is hard enough for most organizations but keeping them can be equally as challenging. This session will be tailored to Communities in Bloom organizations, and will include tips on what are important first steps in recruitment and how having a well thought out plan is imperative for a successful volunteer program. (PDF Presentation)

2) Growing Opportunities for Urban Agriculture
Melisa Zapisocky, Strathcona County, Agriculture Initiatives Specialist

The Urban Agriculture Strategy – a living document, built using a robust framework for action – was developed for Strathcona County in 2016. Informed by resident engagement and best practices, the document makes recommendations on seven strategy areas. Learn how staff are turning the document into a plan with the goal to make urban agriculture easily accessed and seen in the county. (PDF Presentation)

3) Attracting Pollinators to Our Gardens
Merril Lasby, Strathcona County, Lead Hand Horticulture

Anyone can support native pollinators by adding flowering plants to their gardens and landscapes. By carefully selecting flowers that are full of nectar and pollen, native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators will be attracted and have them coming back to your garden for more! Learn which plants are most attractive to pollinators from early spring until late fall. (PDF Presentation)

4) Fire Smart in Strathcona County
Gareth Swinnerton, Strathcona County, Supervisor Forestry and Horticulture

Preparing for the threat of a wildfire is a shared responsibility. Strathcona County’s Recreation, Parks and Culture department incorporates FireSmart practices into daily operations and works with Emergency Services to assess parks and proactively reduce the impact that a fire would have on neighboring properties. This presentation will explore how public education, departmental cooperation, and community involvement can reduce the risk of wildfires in your community.
(PDF Presentation)

    Leslee Laing, Strathcona County Open Space Strategic Planner and Brent Collingwood, Executive Director River Valley Alliance

Have you ever wondered what it is like to plan a river valley park system with multiple shareholders? Come learn how the vision of the River Valley Alliance and one of their seven member municipalities, Strathcona County, have successfully completed Phase I of their Plan of Action. (PDF Presentation)

    Karey Steil, City of Edmonton, Graffiti Project Manager & Community Relations Advisor

Learn what to expect if you plan to, or are currently, working on a natural yard, you will learn the differences between native plants and typical greenhouse plants, and native plant recommendations for a range of site conditions. (PDF Presentation)

    Janet Guthrie, Sport Tourism Coordinator
    Rachel Young, Manager Community Development and
    Lyle Douglas, Landscape Technician & CiB Program Coordinator, City of Leduc

The City of Leduc is located just south of Edmonton, AB. Learn how the City of Leduc has worked hard at enhancing their parks, sporting events and operational initiatives in support of Communities in Bloom’s vision. (PDF Presentation)

Friday, September 28, 2018

    Kevin Napora, Salisbury Landscaping, Master Gardener, Landscape Designer

It can be difficult to develop a dream landscaping plan, even with all of the resources available at our fingertips. In this session, we will tour three popular garden styles and look at locally available landscape materials that will help you realize that dream. (PDF Presentation – coming soon)


1) Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers – How to Fill Your Planters with Color
Merril Lasby, Strathcona County, Lead Hand Horticulture

No matter where your planters are located, you can fill them full of colorful plants by using a focal point, filler plants and those that flow over the edge. Whether you want long-blooming and low maintenance plants, exotic looking tropicals or vegetables and herbs, there are options available. In this session, you will learn about the different options you have to bring your planters alive. (PDF Presentation)

2) FUNding 101: Engaging Local Sponsors
Dennis Franklin, Strathcona County, Partnerships Business Development Advisor

Funding strategies for non-profits, municipalities, community groups and more often involve local business support through sponsorship. This presentation will look at taking sponsorship to a new level, by looking at ways to build off more traditional sponsorship models to create greater value for your sponsors, your organization, and your volunteers. Let’s explore putting the FUN, in FUNding. (PDF Presentation)

3) What the Tweet? Just Post That
Sue Hutton, Strathcona County, Manager Marketing, Programming and Partnerships

The effective use of social media is an important element in any marketing strategy to help increase awareness, create community buy-in for a project and to inform. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are immediate ways to directly communicate with your audience, and one of the benefits of this medium is you can measure how effective your information sharing was. In this session you will learn at a high level how Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be used to effectively get your message out and what potential consequences you need to be aware of before you venture into the world of social media. (PDF Presentation)

4) Cultivating Community Through the Front Yard Recognition Program
Beth Hunt , Strathcona in Bloom, Chairperson

Finding ways to bring communities together and get neighbours talking to each other can be a challenge in our fast paced culture. The Strathcona in Bloom Front Yard Recognition Program has grown immensely by mobilizing volunteers, using print media, revamping promotional materials, making use of local activities and utilizing social media. Join us as we share our ideas. (PDF Presentation)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Town Hall Meeting with Mark Cullen and Exchange between International and Canadian Communities

  1.   Pomaretto, Italy
  2.   Birdhill, Ireland
  3.   Lewes, Delaware USA
  4.   Usk in Bloom, Wales UK
  5.   Szentes, Hungary  ;  Szentes , Hungary #2; Szentes, Hungary #3 ; Szentes, Hungary #4
  6.   Tihany, Hungary