The Town of Windsor is giving the Communities in Bloom competition another whirl.
The local Communities in Bloom committee, co-chaired by the Hants Regional Development Authority’s Pat Gould-Thorpe and HENS Uniforms’ Heather Donohue, hosted an information session in the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre on April 11 to raise awareness of Windsor’s involvement in the competition, and take suggestions on how the Little Town of Big Firsts can stand out from the rest of the province when the judges roll into Windsor this summer.
“We do really well in the heritage conservation department,” said long-time Communities in Bloom member Liz Galbraith at the information session. About 17 people attended the meeting.
Windsor has also earned glowing praise for having an abundance of well-kept residential gardens, Galbraith noted.
Communities in Bloom judges grade towns according to tidiness, community involvement, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, floral displays and turf and ground covers.
Top marks will earn a town five out of five blooms; Windsor achieved this in its first year participating in the competition, bumping the town up from the provincial level to the national stage in 2011.
With a small committee, Windsor was registered in the non-competitive category of the national competition. In sticking with the program in a non-competitive capacity, the town was still able to benefit from a visit from Communities in Bloom judges.
Armed with the judge’s feedback from last summer, the committee is raring to get more people on board to make the most of the community-building program.
“Our objectives this year are to focus on a more sustainable model. We want to expand the reach to others,” said Galbraith, noting that Communities in Bloom is a competition that gives individuals, businesses and non-profit groups opportunities to own projects of their own that will benefit the community as a whole.
“We want to develop a community-based strategy for the continuation of the program, whereas before we were kind of going from year to year.”
The judges suggested looking at the Shell Environmental Park, Fort Edward National Historic Site and Star Brides Park, on Water Street, as areas that could benefit from some TLC.
Following Galbraith’s summary of Windsor’s history with Communities in Bloom, the information session participants broke off into groups of three to talk about how Windsor can gain top marks in each Communities in Bloom category when a new round of judges visit in July.