Members of the Harrison Hot Springs Communities in Bloom committee receive a Five Bloom Award on behalf of the Village at the national CiB conference in Edmonton.

Harrison Hot Springs earns praise for sustainability

Communities in Bloom recognizes hard work of volunteers

Harrison Hot Springs has won the Sustainable Development Award at the National Communities in Bloom competition.

The awards were handed out at the annual convention on Oct. 12 and 13, held this year in Edmonton. As a CiB committee member, Councillor Allan Jackson brought the news to council last Monday, along with the award which is now on display at the Village office.

“This is a great committee, you’ll never beat it,” he said. “If you want ambassadors for this Village, well, this group was wonderful ambassadors.”

He also noted the council’s commitment to the Communities in Bloom competition, which allows the Village to compete by providing monetary help.

“I am so proud that this Village has a vision going forward to 2030,” he added.

In addition to the sustainability award, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs was a finalist in the 1,201 – 3,000 population category of the 2012 National Edition of Communities in Bloom, received a Five Bloom rating and a special mention ­for the Work of the Miami River Streamkeepers.

High marks were given to Harrison for its 20 Year Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (2011-2031), state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and the fact that Harrison is the first carbon-neutral local government in BC.

Following their evaluation of the community, volunteer judges Lucy Chang and Roger Younker wrote: “Harrison Hot Springs is known to area residents as the jewel of the Fraser Valley. The Village is blessed to have breathtaking green mountains as a backdrop and is bordered by unspoiled rivers and lakes. One of the rivers is the Miami River. The Miami River Streamkeepers are volunteers who work tirelessly to restore the riparian areas on the Miami River. To improve the landscape and protect the riverbank that would aid considerably in the conservation of fish and related fauna, the volunteers planted more than a 1000 shrubs and continue to remove invasive weeds along the Miami greenway. A series of trails along the river that would not intrude into the riparian area are being established for the benefits of generations to come.”

Jackson also gave special thanks to Frank Peters, local franchisee for Rocky Mountain Chocolates. Peters gave the committee chocolates to hand out at their booth this year.

“That made us very popular,” Jackson added with a smile. “People said they never had better chocolate.”

The committee includes Jackson, Maureen Wendt, Jane Kivett and Heather Coxon.

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