BLUEWATER BLOOMS COMMITTEE
The Municipality of Bluewater has entered the Provincial competition Communities in Bloom Program every year since 2010. For each year, Bluewater has been awarded Four Booms out of Five. The Committee is referred to as the Bluewater Blooms Committee.
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 the promotion and value of green spaces in urban settings. The program consists of communities receiving information and being evaluated either provincially or nationally by a volunteer jury of trained professionals on the accomplishments of their entire community (municipal, private, corporate and institutional sectors, citizens) on eight key criteria.
Bluewater will participate with other communities in its population category, and be evaluated by CIB judges on the eight program criteria. Bloom ratings from 1 to 5 blooms (5 being the highest ranking) are awarded to participating communities at a provincial awards ceremony annually in the Fall. The program provides for two communities in each province to participate in the following year’s national edition.
Volunteer Information Form
All municipalities across Canada are judged by dedicated, specially trained volunteer judges based on eight criteria which include efforts made by residents, municipal bodies and all forms of businesses. The judges travel across Ontario during the summer and evaluate each location based on these factors as set out by Communities in Bloom Ontario:
Floral Displays: Arrangements of flowers and plants are evaluated on their originality, distribution, location, diversity and balance, harmony, quality and maintenance. The arrangements can be made into flower beds, carpet bedding, containers, baskets, window boxes and can be a mix of annuals, perennials, bulbs, ornamental grasses, etc.
Turf & Groundcovers: Include the quality of naturalization, use of groundcovers and wild flowers, turf management (manicured to rough) and maintenance – mowing height/frequency, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), fertilization programs, irrigation and water restriction. This includes private homes, public buildings, municipal and private sports fields and athletic parks.
Landscaped Areas: Focuses on efforts to create an environment where the plants form an essential element of the whole surroundings. This means the overall design and suitability for location and/or use, the use of native plant materials or introduction of new materials, a balance of plant material and constructed elements, harmony (colour, texture and shape), integration of art elements and high standards of maintenance and site rejuvenation and rehabilitation.
Natural & Cultural Heritage Conservation: It includes collective efforts to preserve heritage within the community. Support and attention to museums, archives, history books and interpretative programs, policies and by-laws, preservation and restoration of buildings, cemeteries, parks, heritage gardens, trees, monuments and artifacts, historical societies and advisory committees.
Tidiness: Includes an overall tidiness effort of green spaces (parks, etc), medians, streets, sidewalks, ditches, road shoulders, signage, vacant lots and buildings with regards to garbage, weeds, maintenance and repair, dog droppings, notices/posters, graffiti and vandalism.
Environmental Awareness: It includes such things as sustainable development, policies and by-laws, waste reduction, landfill sites, hazardous waste collection, sewage disposal, transfer/recycle stations, recycling initiatives, pesticide and waste management, and the municipality’s ability to deal with these issues.
Tree/Urban Forest Management: Includes the efforts made concerning urban forestry. It includes any written policies, by-laws and regulations, short and long-term plans, maintenance (IPM, pruning, etc), new plantings, heritage trees and woodlots, preservation of trees and succession planting. An effort in developing concepts and designs around existing trees or to include new plantings.
Community Involvement: Includes citizens from the private, municipal and corporate sector (including all forms of local businesses) and their involvement in various community projects. Volunteers involved in long and short-term projects (Family Day, Clean-Up Day etc.) and recreational programs (coaches, team managers, etc).
Bluewater is already well positioned to participate, and the formalization of the documentation in the program will also achieve a report-card type of evaluation which will be used to build improvements into service delivery in years to come.
Council approved the establishment of a Planning Committee as an advisory body to Council with the mandate to:
· foster civic pride, environmental protection and a beautification, through community participation;
· improve tidiness, appearance and visual appeal of neighbourhoods, parks, open spaces, streets;
· focus on environmental awareness and preservation of heritage and culture;
· co-ordinate a host program.
“People, plants and pride… growing together” is the CIB slogan, and it captures the essence of the program.
To access the official site of the Provincial Communities in Bloom for more details on the program, please click the link below!