A committee of 12 in Merrickville-Wolford has taken on the task of getting the Municipality ready to compete in the national Communities in Bloom competition.

“We’ve got lots of strengths on the team,” says Chris Scullino, a member of the committee.

The judging will take place on July 6, 2017 and will take into consideration the tidiness of the Municipality, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. The committee is organized into sub committees focused on these categories to ensure nothing falls by the wayside. They are also depending on the support of the Lions Club, the Legion, Madd Gardeners, the Environmental Committee, Merrickville Goes Green and Parks Canada for the many initiatives they have on the go.

One such initiative is the “garden of the month” where they will be picking one garden each month to showcase in the Merrickville Pheonix and this paper. The beautification of the St. Lawrence Street and Main Street Garden and the Cenotaph park is also on the agenda. They will be focusing on pruning and shaping the trees in the two parks, as this is an area where they lost marks in last year’s provincial competition. They are also planning on placing pianos in the parks for the summer and planting flowers in the Merrickville ruins.

The local schools and children’s organizations like the Scouts and Cubs have been enlisted to help with the planting of red sunflowers at the schools and around the Municipality to celebrate Canada 150. The committee is also encouraging everyone to participate in their initiative called Tidy up Tuesday, where every Tuesday at 10 am homeowners and business owners take 10 minutes to clean outside their homes/storefronts.

“If it wasn’t for everyone working together, we wouldn’t be able to say we are a national finalist,” Chris says.

The committee is also looking into the creation of a brag book which will be given to the judges to provide them more information about Merrickville-Wolford and Communities in Bloom initiatives. It will also be available in local shops as a keepsake for tourists. The last time Merrickville-Wolford competed in the national Communities in Bloom competition, they saw a surge in tourism which they are hoping will be the case this year as well.
Merrickville-Wolford Council gave an extra $5000 from their Canada 150 budget to Communities in Bloom, which brings their budget up to $8300. Chris says this increase will help when it comes to buying more flowers, the printing of the brag book and hiring someone to prune the trees in the parks.

Chris says they are in the process of putting together the itinerary for the judge’s tour on July 6. The plan is to have them spend half the day in Merrickville and the other half in Wolford, with a stop at Middleshire Bed and Breakfast for tea. Merrickville-Wolford is competing against five other municipalities in the “towns under 4500” category, which includes Bruderheim, AB, Hanna, AB, Maple Creek, SK, Valhalla Centre, AB and Windsor, NS. The winner will be announced in September at the Communities in Bloom symposium in Ottawa. “We are very hopeful that Merrickville will win,” Chris says.

To lend a hand in any of the Communities in Bloom initiatives, go to their website www.merrickvillecib.com.

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