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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Communities In Bloom judges were in Fort St. John today to judge the city on visual appeal.

Communities usually enter the competition to increase tourism, generate new economic development or achieve civic pride.

On the BC In Communities website, they say that they want to help cities sustain visual appeal as well as many other factors.

“British Columbia Communities in Bloom is a program that inspires communities to enhance and sustain the visual appeal of neighbourhoods, public spaces, parks and streetscapes through the imaginative use of regionally-appropriate plants and landscaping with attention to environmental stewardship and to preserve heritage and cultural assets. An integral component of this very popular program is the friendly competition between communities, engaging citizens of all ages, service groups, businesses and associations in a public-spirited effort to succeed and be recognized. We invite communities of all sizes and from every region of British Columbia to participate in the BC Communities in Bloom program to reap the many social and economic benefits that result.”

2 judges stopped in Fort St. John on Thursday to look for the following 8 points from the criteria list:

– Tidiness
– Environmental Action
– Community Involvement
– Heritage Conservation
– Urban Forestry
– Landscape
– Turf & Groundcovers
– Floral Displays

One of the judges, Ali Double, said it is a great experience to visit cities like Fort St. John.

“We’re absolutely delighted to see Fort St. John representing the northern communities. It’s really wonderful because you get such a wonderful insight into the community spirit.”

Judges also look for how the municipality is involved in the above criteria.

They first started at the Fort St. John community gardens and then visited the cemetery. They also visited the award-winning Passive House. They also had the opportunity to see the work NEAT has been doing by making stops at some of the elementary schools involved. They also got a taste of history as they visited the museum.

Each city is graded from 1 to 5 “blooms”. The community with a top five-bloom score (one in each population category) may receive an invitation to participate in the following year’s national program.


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