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'Community champions' for Coquitlam's environment rewarded with pair of provincial honours

Communities in Bloom (CiB) bestowed the city with a national award for its COVID-19 recovery plan — set to distribute nearly $4 million by the early new year.
Coquitlam's Park Spark and Community Support and Recovery Plan programs have earned two more provincial honours by Communities in Bloom (CIB).

Three's definitely not a crowd for Coquitlam's Communities in Bloom effort — a friendly-competitive program that recognizes municipalities committed to environmental preservation.

This week, two additional pieces of hardware from the non-profit's provincial level were given to the city for the Park Spark volunteer team as well as its parks department staff.

Last month, CiB presented Coquitlam with a national honour for Outstanding Achievement in Community Involvement for its support and recovery program as it's set to distribute nearly $4 million by early next year in helping residents and businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest plaques are:


Catherine Kennedy, CiB executive director for its B.C. chapter, presented the honour during Tuesday night's (Nov. 23) council meeting in recognizing Coquitlam's Park Spark squad.

The volunteer team saw more than 120 people give their time to boost the vitality of local parks, outdoor spaces and environmental ecosystems for other residents and visitors.

Some of the work Park Spark commits to each year includes:

  • year-round drop-in activities at the educational Inspiration Garden, where Park Spark and City Landscape staff work with volunteers in a variety of gardening activities and collaborate to deliver educational programs and signage, an electronic newsletter and more
  • engagement with community horticultural organizations
  • Youth Urban Garden Team, which provides opportunities for youth to meet peers and support their community with activities such as planting and maintaining City gardens


Kudos was also given to two Coquitlam city staff members for their enthusiasm towards building connections to brighten local green spaces. Kathleen Reinheimer and Wendy Wiederick jointly received the CiB's Community Champions Award during Tuesday's regular public meeting.

Reinheimer is Coquitlam's parks manager, and also serves as a CiB provincial judge during the annual competitions. Wiederick is the city's park operations manager and has worked with the CiB's provincial board. She's also been a national and international program participant.

"Coquitlam staff plan a variety of CiB activities each year as part of the City’s annual participation in the program," said a news release from the city. 

"This year’s campaign focused on promoting pollinators and activities that encouraged residents to get outdoors and become involved in their community, including Park Spark volunteer activities."

For more information about Coquitlam's participation in Communities in Bloom, you can visit the city's website.