Friday, July 26, 2013

Communities in Bloom judges say Pincher Creek is special

Communities in Bloom Judges Ted Zarudny and Lorna McIlroy
T. Lucas and C. Davis photos

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

The Communities in Bloom (CiB) judges, Lorna McIlroy from Grande Prairie Alberta and Ted Zarudny from Orangeville Ontario evaluated the Town of Pincher Creek on July 24 for the 2013 National Edition of Communities in Bloom in the Circle of Excellence Evaluated Category, non-competitive.

McIlroy and Zarudny have been to Sunriver BC, Ashcroft, BC, Qualicum Beach Beach BC, and Pincher Creek Alberta so far on their trip.  Next they go to Bruderheim Alberta, Lac du Bonnet Manitoba, then  Dawson City Yukon.  Few of these destinations are in the same category that Pincher Creek is in.  "Pincher Creek, being a former national winner is really in a class by itself.  It's special, and we can see that," said McIlroy.  She was referring to Pincher Creek being chosen as a National Champion in 2009.   McIlroy has been a Communities in Bloom judge for 9 years in Provincial, National and International showing categories.

Pincher Planters and CIB Committe member John  Hancock
A few of the items that the McIlroy and Zarudny look for in the community is tidiness, landscaped areas, natural and cultural heritage conservation, trees / urban forestry, floral displays, and environmental awareness.  "We have been treated royally.  This community definitely thrives on everybody volunteering," said Zarudny, who has been judging for CiB for 7 years.

Both judges found their trip to Pincher Creek enjoyable, and feel that this community shows a lot of care in the areas that they were looking into.  "It's so beautiful here," said McIlroy.  Noting the amount of time and dedication that would be involved in the various aspects that she was judging on she said that "The key that we look for is the community involvement and the volunteers that work so hard to help make it a great place to live.  It has been a well planned, very well executed evaluation day.  Of course the scenery is beautiful here, your parks, your floral displays are beautiful, but the people are the most beautiful."

The two judges toured approximately 80% of the community including the residential, business, industrial, institutional and public areas.  Judging began at 8:15 am at the Town Office and ended with a dinner at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village.  Mayor Ernie Olsen welcomed the judges, guests and volunteers that attended.  "As the Mayor of the town, I appreciate driving around the town and seeing the way it looks.  It's nice to see flowers, it's nice to see clean yards."

"That is one of the better parts of the judging, is getting to meet all the volunteers," said Zarudny who expressed that he felt that getting to meet the people in the community was an important part of the process.

Diane Burt-Stuckey and Mayor Ernie Olsen
C. Davis Photo
"We will be evaluated and  receive a score, so we'll know what we need to improve on," said Director of Recreation Services for the Town of Pincher Creek Diane Burt-Stuckey commenting on the non-competitive category that Pincher Creek is being assessed with this year.  She said that she felt privileged to be able to tour the judges and show off this community, and expressed her appreciation to the sponsors, home owners, institutions, businesses, schools, churches and volunteers in the town.

The results will be announced at the National Awards Ceremonies, in Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada’s Capital Region from October 23rd to 26th, 2013.

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