Two Communities in Bloom judges said they were quite impressed with the tidiness and “the passion for gardening and flowers” in Ponoka as they toured the town on Thursday, July 14 as part of their assessment for how many blooms the town will be awarded in this year’s quality of life rankings by the non-profit organization.
Judges Sherry Cote and Mohyuddin Mirza were given a guided tour of the town which included several visits to private residences, participants in the “Pride in Your Property” competition organized by the Town of Ponoka, and several key locations indicating how well the town was managing its facilities and how much the residents were able to make use of them to maintain a quality lifestyle.
Mirza, a second year judge, and Cote, who has been judging for four years, said they were also impressed by the attitude of the town staff and the pride they take in showcasing their efforts and achievements.
Cote said it was important to realize that a better quality of life was a key component of growth in any community, both in the economic sense of rising population and increasing commercial activity and in the wider sense of enhancing what the residents can take from their life in a specific community, including the pride of belonging there.
She said in the Communities in Bloom concept, three Ps were the key components: people, plants and pride.
The judges also took part in a community BBQ lunch at Fort Ostell museum, sponsored by Sommer Home Hardware, to mingle with residents and get information from them about the life in the community.
Cote said they would prepare their report and submit it to the provincial chapter of the organization and that the town would learn how many blooms it was awarded on Sept. 17, when a ceremony in Cold Lake will see the results announced.
Competition winners announced
The community BBQ was also the scene for the announcement of the winners of the town’s “Pride in Your Property” competition.
Announcing the results, Wes Amendt, town’s director of community services, said despite the fact that there were fewer nominations in the competition this year, the judges had a more difficult time deciding the winners because of the high class of the entries. In order to be able to recognize more of the nominees, Amendt said the judges of the competition had decided to create a new category of awards, which they named “yard in progress.”
The winner in the business category was Service Credit Union, who will receive a $300 credit in their utility bills. Second place was Town and Country supplies. Reid Manor and Walrus and The Carpenter were recognized for special mention.
Marie Remyn was the winner of the residential category, earning a $300 credit on her utility bill. She was followed by Jim and Marge Ashbaugh family with a $200 credit, and the third place went to Jac and Jeannette van den Broek with $100 utility credit.
In the new category of yard in progress, Sara Dreidger and Maryann Novotney tied for the first place.
Amendt said he would look into the possibility of organizing a community tour for interested residents to be able to see and enjoy the beauty of the winning properties.