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North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton is confident the Communities in Bloom judges will give the city a good mark.
Judges Marion Kelly of Unity and Lillian Body of Luseland visited the city Thursday to evaluate it for the provincial Communities in Bloom (CIB) program.
Under the program, communities are evaluated in eight categories: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape, Turf and Groundcovers, Floral Displays, and Community Involvement.
On June 25, North Battleford was hit by a brutal storm that tore down trees and branches all over the city. Some trees slamed into the roofs of houses. The city is still cleaning up that mess.
Given that fact, Hamilton was asked if he thinks the city stands a good chance of getting at least four out of five blooms in the CIB competition, like it did last year, the first year the city entered the competition.
“Of course we stand a good chance,” he said, adding he’s confident the judges will not only appreciate the many beautiful areas of North Battleford but also take into consideration the fact the city and its residents have worked hard to recover from the storm and “improve the beauty of the community.”
Body agreed with that.
“They’ve done a great job,” she said.
When Body and Kelly arrived at City Hall they were taken up to the second floor where they met Hamilton, some City Hall staff members, and North Battleford CIB Committee (NBCIBC) members.
NBCIBC Co-Chair Charlotte Hamilton said the community has done its best to recover from the effects of the storm.
“We’ve done a fairly decent job of cleaning up,” she said, although she conceded the judges would see some areas that “are not so clean.”
Mayor Hamilton admitted the city hasn’t yet been able to clean up all the storm debris, but “it is what it is, we just do our best.”
Body said not to worry.
As she listed off the categories the judges must consider, she noted one of them is floral displays.
“We’ve seen some beautiful ones so far,” she said.
Kelly stressed that although they want to see the ugly stuff as well as the beautiful stuff, the judges make a determined effort to provide good advice.
“We try to be positive in our comments and give little hints of things towns and cities might want to do,” she said.
Kelly said they were impressed with the welcome they received.
“The hospitality has been really good,” she said.
Body was also impressed by what she saw.
“It’s my first time here, and things were looking very good as we drove in,” she said.
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