Stratford celebrates two Communities in Bloom awards

The City of Stratford took home two awards from last month's national and international Communities in Bloom symposium and awards ceremony in Yarmouth, N.S.

This week, the Ciy of Stratford and its Communities in Bloom committee celebrated the two awards Stratford received at the national competition's annual Symposium in Yarmouth, N.S. last month. Pictured from left are committee members Carys Wyn Hughes, Stratford manager of parks, forestry and cemeteries Quin Malott, Coun. Brad Beatty, committee chair Kimberly Richardson, Coun. Bonnie Henderson, and Barb Howe. (Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald)

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There can be no doubt the City of Stratford and its residents take great pride in keeping the city beautiful.

And that was again reflected by the results of the prestigious Communities in Bloom competition.

On Tuesday, Stratford committee chair Kimberly Richardson presented council with the two awards the city won at the national and international Communities in Bloom symposium and awards ceremony in Yarmouth, N.S., last month.

“This year, the city received a five-bloom silver rating and special mention for the Ted Blowes Memorial Pollinator Peace Garden. … The city competed with 500 communities – one from the U.K., one from Hungary, one from Ireland, and one from Belgium. We also received an outstanding achievement award for the Communities in Bloom 25th anniversary,” Richardson said.

According to Coun. Brad Beatty, one of the council representatives who sits on Stratford’s Communities in Bloom committee, Stratford has won awards across every category since the national gardening and civic beautification competition was established 25 years ago.

 

 

The City of Stratford undertook a number of garden projects this year to mark the Communities in Bloom competition’s 25th anniversary year. One of those projects, pictured above, was the installation of a new, educational sign at the Ted Blowes Memorial Garden. The sign itself was reclaimed from the recently demolished Kiwanis Community Centre. (Galen Simmons/the Beacon Herald) jpg, SF

Richardson said this year’s judges, who visited the city over the summer, were impressed by the new pollinator peace garden, a Canada 150 project that honoured one of the Communities in Bloom founders and former Stratford mayor, Ted Blowes.

“Going back 25 years, Ted was instrumental in creating Communities in Bloom nationally, so we try to continue on the projects he started and he inspires us still to carry on his legacy,” committee member Barb Hacking said Friday.

But while the committee members did a lot to keep Stratford beautiful and make sure everything was in place when the Communities in Bloom judges visited, they said the awards were really a recognition of all the hard work and dedication of individuals, services clubs, city staff and others.

“The judges come here for a specific couple of days, but honestly, they could come any time they want because the city shines all year round,” Beatty said. “… It’s everybody – not only those that go to make our city look beautiful, but those that keep our city beautiful too. Whether it’s the citizens who pick up garbage or the service groups that do that, every little that we all do goes to making our city such a great place to live.”

gsimmons@postmedia.com

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