Merritt wins four bloom awards
The City of Merritt won four blooms at the ninth annual B.C. Communities in Bloom awards in Kelowna on Sept. 22, which is the second-highest designation from the urban landscaping organization.
“They base it on about seven different criteria,” Merritt’s Communities in Bloom Committee Chair Shelley Sanders said. “It’s about forestry, landscaping, how you preserve your history, and that type of thing, [such as] how economically and environmentally sustainable the community is and what are they doing to achieve that.”
Communities across the province compete for prizes in eight categories, including tidiness and community involvement. Two judges from the provincial CIB committee spend a day and a half touring each community before awarding an overall “bloom” rating from one to five.
The organization recognizes the economic and environmental impact of visually appealing landscaping.
“The main reason we’re doing this is to get people more interested in taking pride, keeping clean, and becoming more aware of water conservation and environmental issues,” Sanders said. “If you’re going to plant flowers, plant something that’s right for our semi-arid climate. But we don’t want this to just be a spring or summer project, we want it to be year-round.”
Sanders said Merritt has entered non-competitively before, but this is the first year the city has been judged under the committee she heads. Each committee member was responsible for one criteria of CIB’s eight, and Sanders’ landscaping project, the DeWolf Way Enhancement, was recognized in CIB’s September newsletter.
Merritt took the top prize in the floral displays category, and the Baillie House received special mention in the overall category.
“To me [the award]shows recognition of the community support that has enabled the Baillie House to keep in operation,” Baillie House manager and CIB committee member Sandy Curnow said. “When this place was going to be torn down and dismantled, there was a petition and protest in the street. It’s a warm welcome for tourists to Merritt and locals, too.”
Logan Lake was also awarded four blooms with a special mention of the Logan Lake Wellness, Health and Youth Society.