Last Thursday, the provincial Communities in Bloom judges arrived in Agassiz to learn what the community is doing to grow, and also be more sustainable. The day included tours of the area, along with presentations during a picnic lunch in Pioneer Park.
Matt Connelly, the environmental and engineering services coordinator for the District of Kent, spoke to the judges and the gathered crowd about the drainage issues facing the municipality.
Challenges here include the existence of the Oregon Spotted Frog in some ditches, comprising most of the known population of the amphibian in the province.
“We have to salvage the species,” he said, counting and measuring them and releasing them outside the work area, as they hand clean their habitat.
“We don’t have a lot of fish to deal with, but we do have a lot of amphibians,” he said. Because of the delicate nature of amphibians, he said, t’s a sign that the area is healthy, and that not a lot of pollutants are running into the waterways.
There used to be plenty of salmon in the waters, too, he said, and the planned flood box with screw pumps will allow fish to travel through the local waterways more freely.
Coun. Lorne Fisher also spoke to the crowd, urging everyone to take part in this Saturday’s open houses at UBC and the Ag-Canada Research Station. The station recently lost a quarter of its scientists, and now more than ever, Fisher said, the public needs to connect with the station and learn what’s going on there.
“We have to start promoting the value of the Research Station and its programs as a benefit to our community,” he said.
The judges this year were Rea Smith and Trisha McCarthy.
The results will be made public in October during the annual CIB convention. The District of Kent has been active with the program since 2002, taking only one year off in 11 years.