Minden in bloom for visiting judges
By Sue Tiffin
Published July 27, 2017
For the second year, Minden Hills is participating in the national Communities in Bloom (CIB) program, hoping to repeat the five out of five blooms score the town received last year.CIB judges Leo Ostner and Larry Parr were in town from July 19 to 21, with a packed tour designed to showcase Minden’s pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement. Judges evaluate participating communities on eight criteria: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and ground covers, floral displays and community involvement.
“Right away you think of flowers and parks,” said Ostner. “It’s much more than just flowers and landscapes.”
Stops on this year’s itinerary included Snowdon Park, Lochlin Community Centre, Killara Station, Ingoldsby Church and Cemetery, Harrington Park, the Wild Water Preserve, Twelve Mile Beach and Cemetery, Beaverbrook golf course, Miners Bay Lodge, the Riverwalk, Village Green, cultural centre, Hyland Crest, Masonic Lodge and the food bank, Rotary Park, and the scenic lookout.
Judges were treated to meals, including breakfast at the Wild Swan Bed and Breakfast, and were also welcomed into personal properties of residents to see their gardens and landscaping.
Ostner noted the commitment of volunteers in association with the municipality as being an outstanding highlight of Minden’s tour. Both judges said recent rainy weather patterns and flooding were taken into consideration when evaluating community efforts.
The program offers a report from judges highlighting remarkable areas and those in need of improvement. Last year, Minden scored lowest in the urban forestry category. The local CIB committee also hoped to entice more business participation and awareness in the program.
“From our first glimpse of Minden Hills via the itinerary we knew we were in for an exciting visit,” reads last year’s report. “It is obvious that you have worked very hard to address all Communities in Bloom categories, showing and highlighting some very remarkable projects. And we were not disappointed…. It is the judges’ hope that municipal leaders understand the connection between beautification and community pride with economic development.”
“The CIB program is something that will continue to grow in Minden Hills and help build pride in our community,” said Eric Casper, community services employee and CIB committee lead. “Being part of the CIB program helps us – municipal, business and private residents – focus our thoughts and energy into making Minden Hills an even better place to live, work and play.”
The Communities in Bloom committee includes councillors Jeanne Anthon and Jean Neville, volunteers Susan Sheehan, Elinor Kernohan, Debra Tammi, Mary Jane Irwin, Molly’s Bistro and township staff Mark Coleman and Casper. Casper also noted the many people included in the itinerary stops who welcome the judges.
Final reports and awards of the Communities in Bloom program will be announced on Sept. 9 this year in a symposium hosted by the municipality of Lambton Shores.