Editorial: Communities in luck

Organizers and participants of the popular Communities in Bloom program go to great lengths to explain that it’s much more than a gardener’s showcase.

While it’s true that there are few images more viewer-friendly or logo-likely than perfectly nourished and arranged flowers, the program has evolved into an effort promoting all that can be good in a community. Fabulous looking flora is just the icing on the cake.

What is basically sought out and assessed by globe-trotting Communities in Bloom judges, are the qualities and charcteristics that make life more worth living in a given town or city.

The focus of Communties in Bloom has apparently evolved to the point where all sorts of factors are considered in the careful judging:

• How does Castlegar rate in terms of tidyness as compared to... let’s say... Jasper, Alberta?

• How environmentally friendly is the local infrastructure of Castlegar compared to the arrangements on Fogo Island? The categories for comparison go on, then go on some more.

How does a visitor make fair and legitimate judgements between such vastly different communities? They do it with an incredibly detailed grid – a set of rigid criteria with relatively little ‘wiggle room’ for subjective considerations.

One thing is clear, and only takes a glance to notice: a Community in Bloom, like Castlegar, looks fantastic. We’re already winners, thanks so much to the many volunteers. We’ll see if there’s more to celebrate at awards time in September.

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