Fort St. John tidying up for Communities in Bloom

Photo by communitiesinbloom.ca

Get out your corn brooms, your weed whackers and your hedge trimmers, and maybe make another visit to the garden centre near you.

Fort St. John’s Communities in Bloom committee is encouraging local businesses and residents to do what they can to tidy up their properties ahead of a two-day tour of the community later this month.

Provincial judges are set to tour the city when they arrive in town July 19 — and organizers are hoping to impress the judges on a category that hasn’t seen the friendliest marks in previous years.

“Tidiness (of the city) is the one area we have consistently received constructive feedback around,” said Karen Mason-Bennett.

“We decided to just tackle it head on.”

It’s been three years since Fort St. John has competed in the contest, which fetes the best looking communities on a provincial, national, and even international level.

The city is competing on a provincial level for an award, and Mason-Bennett says the city hasn’t been in a position to receive one over the last few years.

Mason-Bennett says a little hard work and buy in from residents will go a long way in impressing the judges — pulling out weeds, mowing the lawn, sweeping the sidewalks, hanging a flower pot or two.

“We’re of the mind… the community and things that make Fort St. John fantastic are the people that are here,” she said.

Mason-Bennett says its just not the city that’s responsible for keeping the community looking clean and tidy.

“It’s not just the city’s job. There definitely needs to be some self-responsibility around those things. If the city was to do it all, our taxes would astronomical,” said Mason-Bennett

The judges will arrive on Sun., July 19, and will be taken on a garden tour that afternoon organized by the local horticultural society.

A barbecue with the judges will follow at the community gardens at 6:30 p.m. on 102 Avenue between the Church of Resurrection and the Fort St. John Medical Clinic. That is open to the public, Mason-Bennett says.

“It’s an opportunity to come by and really explain what makes Fort St. John awesome in your world,” she said.

“What makes a community a community, and how to thrive as a collective group. I think we do that in spades, it just not might be in the places people expect it to be.”

The judges will be taken on a tour of Fort St. John on July 20 before leaving the following day.

“We expect some informal feedback as we truck around, but we’ll get a full mark up six weeks after they’re here,” said Mason-Bennett.

The Northern Environmental Action Team and the North Peace Justice Society are spearheading the efforts, with sponsorship from Home Hardware and Urban Systems.

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