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Trail and Castlegar take top honours with International Communities in Bloom

Trail Champion
By Trail Champion
October 7th, 2015

Both Trail and Castlegar made excellent showings in their respective categories in the International Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition this year.

“To have two communities within 25 miles of each other win internationally is great,” said Darlene Kalawsky, who not only heads up the Castlegar CiB, but is also chair of the provincial organization. Kalawsky said as many as 500 volunteers participated in CiB initiatives in Castlegar over the course of the year.

Both communities won bronze in their categories (International for Trail and Class of Champions for Castlegar), but because of the ranking system, none of the competing communities won silver or gold (metal level is determined based on percentages, not comparison to other entries).

The City of Castlegar received Five Blooms – Bronze and a special mention for White Gardens during the 2015 National Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Kamloops, BC. The community also received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Natura Tidiness Award. The City of Castlegar participated in the Class of Champions (Medium) category along with Beaumont and Brooks (both in Alberta) and Summerside (PEI).

The City of Trail is the winner of the International Challenge (Medium) category. They received Five Blooms – Bronze and a special mention for Trail Rocks! during the 2015 National Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Kamloops, BC. The City of Trail competed against Ahoghill, Northern Ireland UK, Estes Park CO USA, Jasper AB and Stettler AB. 

Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.

Following their evaluation, volunteer judges Gaétan Deschênes and Steve Preston wrote about Castlegar, “Creating a white garden looks easy at first sight, but all savvy gardeners will tell you that this type of garden requires good planning and careful selection of plants.  One can affirm that volunteers in Castlegar were very successful with their 40 meters length project, along Columbia Avenue, a main artery of the municipality. The design, the choice of flowers and maintenance are outstanding and are a real treat for the eye. Congratulations especially to Mrs. Angie Zibin, the soul behind this project.  In this year of celebrating volunteerism in Castlegar, a tremendous success: all the community admires all that is accomplished by the volunteers.  Congratulations to all the volunteers for the outstanding contribution of flowering Castlegar”.

Meanwhile, volunteer judges Lorna McIlroy and Ted Zarudny wrote of Trail, “Trail is an industrial city that has clearly reinvented itself, celebrating its rock walls that beautify and shore up properties and roads. The entrance signs and strategic locations throughout the city feature rocks, and the Colombo Lodge has preserved rock structure on its property with award winning results. The Graffiti Grannies remove graffiti from the rocky outcroppings and the rock-laced hillsides are being painstakingly replanted for stabilization and improved appearance. Also, in the figurative sense, Trail rocks with vitality, energy and enthusiasm. The landscape and floral displays, the IncrEDIBLE Green Route, the historic murals and the Avenue of the Clans are all assets that make the City of Trail truly ROCK!” 

Kalawsky also added that Castlegar’s Mac and Kathy Gregory with the Provincial Community Champions Award, a significant distinction for the couple and the city, both.

 

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