Communities in Bloom judges arrived at the West Kootenay Regional Airport Tuesday

Communities in Bloom judges arrived at the West Kootenay Regional Airport Tuesday

Let the Communities in Bloom judging begin

Judges for international competition arrive for tour of Castlegar

Communities in Bloom judges Robert Ivison and Alain Cappelle arrived at West Kootenay Regional Airport Tuesday, July 16 and were welcomed by Communities in Bloom chair, Darlene Kalawsky and Coun. Gordon Turner.  Ivison and Cappelle are judging Castlegar in the International Challenge for medium and large cities.

“We’re quite pleased with the interest,” said Ivison. “With entries from Japan, Singapore, Korea, etc., our message is getting out there.”

Their global tour of communities started in June and by August, the men will have found their way across the Atlantic to England. They arrived in Canada Saturday, July 13 to begin the Canadian leg of their judging journey.

Cappelle has over more than 25 years of experience as a Landscape Architect winning several international awards. His expertise covers all aspects of Landscape Architecture from parks and recreation grounds, city planning and urban design, to pesticide friendly concepts and harmonious park and green management.

Ivison started his horticultural career as an apprentice with The Royal Parks, London, and after more than 20 years at a senior management level, he retired in 2005 to form his own company providing strategic and operational management support to Parks Services and other agencies across the United Kingdom. He advises on Green Space Strategy development and best practice for the better management of parks and open spaces.

The judges will be given a comprehensive tour of Castlegar on Wednesday, July 17 before leaving for Trail the next day.

This year, Castlegar has undertaken a new Peony Demonstration Garden at the Heritage Station Museum and has begun the planning for a children’s sculptural garden and learning facility at Millennium Park. Kalawsky said that is part of a larger five-year-plan involving a numerous volunteers and partnerships.

Countless volunteer hours have been spent in planting, watering, gardening and beautifying the city. Last year, Castlegar placed first in the 6,501 to 10,000 population category.

“We’ve also gone into the schools and supported the wetlands project at Kinnaird, the Tomatosphere project with the Canadian Space Agency and assisted in planting vegetables at Blueberry Creek Community School,” said Kalawsky.

This year, hundreds of Canadian communities are participating in the national and provincial editions of Communities in Bloom, along with municipalities from the United States, England, Ireland, Italy and South Korea who are taking part in the International Challenge.

Communities in Bloom fosters civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement, with focus on the enhancement of green spaces in communities.

The following criteria are used in the evaluation process: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and ground-covers, floral displays and community involvement.

The evaluation is based on the local conditions and achievements of citizens, businesses, organizations, institutions and the municipal government working together towards common objectives.

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