Hope has received a Five Bloom award in the 2014 provincial Communities in Bloom competition.
The award was handed out over the weekend in Trail, with Hope’s Victor Smith and Bob Burrell being recognized with a special provincial Community Champion award. The local delegates also honoured Laurie and Elaine French for their volunteer contributions over the past seven years.
“We’re ecstatic that we won again,” said Victor Smith, chair of the Hope Communities in Bloom committee. “We never know and it’s always a surprise to us. It’s rewarding that the town has that wow factor.”
Judges Peter Crawshaw and Heather Doheny toured the community in July and made numerous stops including You Grow Aquaponics, Pioneer Cemetery, Kawkawa Lake park and Othello Tunnels. Fred Fandrich of Valley Helicopters also provided an aerial tour giving the judges an overview of the visual orientation of Hope.
The community was evaluated on its tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. Hope managed to boost its score in several areas from last year and received special mention for it’s volunteerism. Smith said one of the biggest improvements this year was the berm at Exit 170, which received new perennial planting and mulching. The judges specifically noted how impressed they were with the amount of landscaping maintenance done by volunteers.
“Volunteerism is the rule in Hope. The hard work of many individuals, both volunteer and municipal, is clearly evident throughout the community,” they said. “We would also be remiss if we did not mention the generous hospitality shown to us by everyone while in Hope. If hospitality were a CIB category, Hope would get full marks.”
The judges suggested the committee give some consideration to how the local First Nation bands could have active involvement in the program. They also pointed out that a visit to the Nestlé Waters facility, waste water treatment plant and landfill transfer station would be a good addition to the tour in the future and be of value to the judges.
The local Communities in Bloom committee relied on about 50 volunteers to run the program this year, logging a total of 731 hours.