Castlegar has once again received high honours at the Communities in Bloom National Symposium. During the event held on October 3 in Kamloops Castlegar Communities in Bloom was again awarded with five blooms, the highest bloom rating. They also placed second in the Class of Champions (medium population size) category, the second highest level in the competition. “I’m really pleased,” said Castlegar CIB president Darlene Kalawsky. “We have a fabulous team. We are very enthusiastic and we are definitely going to keep moving forward.”
In addition Castlegar received the Natura Tidiness Award, an outstanding achievement award given to only one community in the entire competition. “It’s really great to be recognized that way for sure. I think it will really drive our tidiness efforts more with things like the adopt a road program. People will realize it’s important to have a tidy community,” said Kalawsky.
If those accomplishments weren’t enough, they also received a special mention for the White Gardens on Columbia Ave. Following their evaluation of Castlegar, volunteer judges Gaétan Deschênes and Steve Preston wrote: “Creating a white garden looks easy at first sight but all savvy gardeners will tell you that this type of garden requires good planning and careful selection of plants. One can affirm that volunteers in Castlegar were very successful with their 40 meters length project, along Columbia Avenue, a main artery of the municipality. The design, the choice of flowers and maintenance are outstanding and are a real treat for the eye. Congratulations especially to Mrs. Angie Zibin, the soul behind this project.”
Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector, including volunteer efforts, in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.
Mac and Kathy Gregory received the Community Champion Award for the province of BC. Each participating community is allowed to make a nomination, and the award is given to one outstanding volunteer. The Gregorys are not only active CIB participants, but also spearheaded the flag pole project at the Castlegar Robson interchange and spend countless hours cleaning up city streets. “It is good to be recognized,” said Mac Gregory. “Hopefully it will encourage others to do more volunteerism. Cities like Castlegar depend a lot on volunteer efforts. They can’t afford to do all that happens in the city without the help of volunteers.”