The District of Kent is a Five Bloom winner once again.
The annual provincial Communities in Bloom competition celebrated its winners on September 22, hosted by Kelowna.
Ken Schwaerzle, a member of the local CiB committee, was at the awards to accept for the District. The work of the committee was recognized at Monday night’s council meeting.
“I want to thank you for having me on this committee,” Schwaerzle told Mayor John Van Laerhoven. “As you know, a Five-Bloom award was given and that is something to take very good pride in.”
While Schwaerzle is a past councillor in Kent, he said there was still lots to learn about what Communities in Bloom does for its community.
“Before, I thought it was just tulips and roses,” he admitted. “But I quickly found out it is not just tulips and roses. It’s so much more.”
Communities in Bloom judges visited earlier this year, and were led around by volunteers to discover the area. And while the judges commended the community garden, and marveled at the waste water treatment plant, it was one of Agassiz’s newest additions that helped earned the top praise.
The special mention this year went to the Agassiz Harrison Museum’s Historical Barn, which opened this spring and houses many items that were previously not able to be on display.
This year also meant very high marks for the District; at 87 per cent, it was their highest achievement yet.
Councillor Dwayne Post, also a member of the committee, mentioned that he had also learned a great deal about the work that goes into presenting the community. At the awards, they were invited to compete in the national CiB awards — which the Village of Harrison Hot Springs is currently entered into, and will wrap up this weekend in Edmonton. However, Schwaerzle urged council to remain in the provincial level of the competition.
Next year is the 10th anniversary of CiB, and Schwaerzle said it would be nice to see the District participate in that celebration.
Van Laerhoven agreed, and said that despite the prestige of the national awards, the provincial awards were important, too.
This year’s CiB committee included Councillor Dwayne Post, Victoria Brooks, Joanne Velkamp, Del Gornall, Ken Schwaerzle, Val Edmondson, Heidi Lam, Scott Hurst (District gardener) and Kerry Hilts (District liaison).
The other municipalities that won Five Blooms are Chetwynd, Clinton, Kelowna, Sooke and Vernon.