Coquitlam's community support and recovery plan (CSRP) has grabbed national attention 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 city has earned yet another Communities in Bloom award for the CSRP as well as several volunteer initiatives that aim to enhance the community and its surrounding environment.
The national campaign gave Coquitlam its Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Involvement.
It adds to a slate of Communities in Bloom awards the city has claimed in previous years at the provincial, national and international levels.
"A highlight of the City’s award submission was the CSRP, launched in 2020 to provide immediate and long-term support to residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other groups," explained Wendy Wiederick, Coquitlam city parks operations manager, in a release.
"Intended to enhance long-term community resiliency, the program has provided financial and social support to residents while also helping organizations and businesses continue to operate and provide services during the pandemic and beyond."
Coquitlam's submission also highlighted the following programs to boost community spirit and environmental stewardship:
- Various volunteer stewardship programs that encourage residents to keep public spaces clean and litter-free (information at www.coquitlam.ca/adoptapark, www.coquitlam.ca/adoptastreet, www.coquitlam.ca/adoptadogpark or www.coquitlam.ca/adoptacatchbasin)
- Park Spark public engagement programs including litter cleanups and the Garden Volunteer program (information: www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark)
- The city’s community garden program, through which residents grow fruits, vegetables and flowers for their own enjoyment and share fresh produce with local food banks
- Coquitlam Munch edible planters maintained by Austin Heights businesses
- Recycling programs that provide receptacles for used fishing line at Como Lake and Lafarge Lake and for cigarette butts at strategic locations around the city
The CSRP was recognized in September by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) with its inaugural Presidents Committee Choice award for its effectiveness and innovation.
According to UBCM, the recognition goes to the community that exhibited "an outstanding response to the pandemic."
"The unique circumstances that communities across B.C. faced during this difficult time brought to light many innovative ways that local governments adapted to the impact of COVID-19," explained UBCM of the inaugural award.
For more information about Communities in Bloom, the CSRP and volunteer opportunities related to the programs, you can visit the City of Coquitlam's website.