photo by Marguerite Boyer

by Hilary Thomson

Merrickville-Wolford was awarded Five Blooms and Bronze standing at the Communities in Bloom (CiB) National and International Awards Ceremony on the weekend in Ottawa. The ceremony honoured municipalities from across Canada, the United States, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Ireland, Croatia and Italy who participated in the competition.

Merrickville-Wolford participated in the national competition, in the municipalities with a population up to 4,500 category. They were judged on tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, and floral displays.

Five Blooms is the top prize, and Bronze is the third level of achievement, in the Five Bloom category with an overall rating of 84-86.9 per cent. Two of the other municipalities, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, and Hanna, Alberta, also received Five Blooms with a Bronze rating, and three others, Bruderheim, Alberta, Valhalla Centre, Alberta, and Windsor, Nova Scotia, received just Five Blooms. Although Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, ended up taking the top prize, Merrickville-Wolford was very close behind. “It was a matter of a few points,” says CiB Committee Member Chris Scullino, who attended the awards on Saturday. “We did better than last year so we are very happy with that.”

Although Merrickville-Wolford did not rank the highest in their category, they received a special mention for their multi-generational committee. After their evaluation, CiB judges Lucy Chang and Louise Dumouchel wrote:

“Merrickville-Wolford has a unique multi-generational CiB Committee. The Committee is well served and well informed online by a technologically driven group, and energized by youthful environmentalists. While its programs and activities are conducted by more mature hands that are experienced in juggling work and family – all are supported by the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the retired and semi-retired generation. This group of volunteers, drawn from the municipal, business, institutional and residential sectors, are committed to achieving the goals of the Communities in Bloom program.”

A big thank you goes out to the Merrickville-Wolford CiB committee: Chris Scullino, Hope Gray, David Nash, Linda Nash, Clayton McKinnon, Claire Sexton, Tim Molloy, Audrey Bridge, Mike Zaversnuke, and Christine Nagelski. They all worked very hard throughout the year to get the Municipality ready for the judges.

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