Five golden blooms.
That was the award the City of Coquitlam earned last weekend at the annual Communities in Bloom, a national and international competition that recognizes environmental sustainability, improvements to green spaces and heritage conservation in participating municipalities.
Coquitlam took the prestigious “5 Blooms - gold” accolade in the Grand Champions category, with a special shout-out for the Hoy Creek hatchery that it runs with the Hoy/Scott Creek Watershed Society.
Ville de Rosemere, Que., also scooped a 5 Blooms - gold — edging out Coquitlam for the top spot with its commemorative poetry garden — while the City of Castlegar took 5 Blooms - bronze.
It was the first time that Coquitlam had competed in the Grand Champions category.
Coquitlam also clinched two Outstanding Achievement Awards: the Green Cities Award, sponsored by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association; and second place in the Equinox & Scotts Canada Year of the Garden Contest (first place went to Brandon, Man.).
In July, Berta Briggs, a retired greenhouse owner from Alberta, and Larry Hall, a retired educator, judged Coquitlam’s entry that included a tractor dance at Town Centre Park.
Communities in Bloom officials handed out the 28th annual awards on Oct. 22 at a ceremony in Victoria.
The aim of the competition is to foster community strength, involvement and continuous improvement.
In a news release, national chairperson Susan Ellis congratulated the national and international winners “who, with the help of their community volunteers, have raised the bar with their efforts to create and enhance the green spaces that so many residents have rediscovered across Canada.
“Our communities continue to recognize the need to nurture and protect our environment and create new ways to help mitigate the impacts of climate change,” she added.
Here are the national and international winners:
- Up to 6,000: Melfort, Sask.
- 6,001 to 20,000: Bay Roberts, Nfld. and Lab.
- International challenge (small): Glaslough Tidy Towns, Ireland
- International challenge (medium/large): Wood Buffalo, Alta.
- Class of Champions (small): Pugwash, N.S.
- Class of Champions (medium): Yarmouth, N.S.
- Grand Champions: Rosemere, Que.