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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Communities in Bloom celebrates Circle of Champions win, special mention for Lebel Rose Garden

Pincher Creek Communities in Bloom
2015 Circle of Champions
Noreen Robbins, Adriana Hoekstra (Oldman Rose Society), Diane Burt Stuckey, John Hancock, and Wendy Ryan

Chris Davis

Members of the Pincher Creek chapter of Communities in Bloom (CIB) celebrated last week after receiving the news that Pincher Creek had won the 2015 CIB Class of Champions (Small) category.

Diane Stuckey shows off the award

Pincher Creek received "5 Blooms - Silver" and a special mention for the Lebel Mansion Rose Garden after winning in their category.


Diane Burt Stuckey
Committee member Diane Burt Stuckey brought the award to a recent photo-op at the giant pincer on Main Street, and after posing with the rest of the deserving committee members present she explained that Pincher Creek also won another unexpected award at the during CIB's 2015 National Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Kamloops, BC.  "Communities in Bloom have a long time award called the Ted Blows Award," said Stuckey, explaining it was named named for a long time committee member involved at the national level. This award is given for community displays at the ceremony and was also won by Pincher Creek's CIB delegation.

Apparently the awards show was a bit of a nailbiter, with Pincher Creek now in an exalted category that was announced near the end of the ceremony.


The Town of Pincher Creek has been involved with Communities in Bloom since 2000 and won at the National level in 2009 and was also included in CIB's 2014 non-evaluated "Circle of Excellence" category, making them eligible for the Class of Champions competition.  "When you are up against other communities that have won nationals, you know they are good," said Stuckey.   Also vying for the title were Antigonish NS, Ashcroft BC, Millet AB, Sussex NB and Tignish PE.

CIB committee member Noreen Robbins explained the history behind Pincher Creek's epic achievements.  In 1996 a group of dedicated gardeners formally formed as the Pincher Planters, a year after flooding did a major number on the town, including its horticulture.  In 1997 the Pincher Planters created their first garden.

Adriana Hoekstra
Adriana Hoekstra of the Oldman Rose Society expressed great pleasure at the special mention the Lebel Mansion Rose Garden received in the official notification of Pincher Creek's win.  The society officially formed in 2009, and have toiled endlessly since then to create the rose garden that is now the centerpiece of the Lebel Mansion's east grounds.

Lebel Rose Garden
As the seasons came and went so too did some of the Pincher Planters and the Oldman Rose Society volunteers,  and through every season they continue to mount their gentle offensives to beautify our surroundings.  In 2000 the local gardening groups united and joined Communities in Bloom, which describes itself as "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 enhancing green spaces in communities".


In 2009 Pincher Creek won Nationals in their category.  In 2014 we were included in the Circle of Excellence.  In 2015 Pincher Creek won the 2015 CIB Class of Champions (Small) category.  A nervous laugh escaped most of the committee members when I asked if Internationals were next.  No promises were given.  My prediction: a suitable International category will be found.

In the theatre of competitive gardening Pincher Creek is #1.  I'm filing this under "sports".  It's the story so nice we told it twice.

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