Get your green thumbs ready, the City of Barrie is taking part in the Communities in Bloom challenge again this year and is inviting you to, once again, help it blossom.

The city is participating in the Circle of Excellence category and is encouraging all Barrie residents, community groups and interested partners to register to participate. Registration closes on June 29. Projects can be any size and no project is too small.

National judges will tour Barrie on July 24 and 25. They’ll evaluate the accomplishments of the whole community (municipal, corporate and individual citizens) on any of the following criteria: landscaped areas, floral arrangements, tidiness effort, urban forestry development, environmental effort and heritage conservation.

Even if you don’t register, there are lots of ways you can help impress the judges. Pull weeds, sweep your sidewalk and pick up litter in neighbourhood green spaces, vacant lots and local parks. Show off your creativity by sprucing up your flowerbeds, baskets and planters. Little gardeners can also showcase their green thumbs through the Little Bloomers Container Gardening Contest. Click here to learn more.

Barrie has participated in Communities in Bloom since 1997. In 2017, the city received a Five Leaves – Silver rating and a special mention for the Lampman Lane Park makeover.

Barrie is among hundreds of Canadian communities participating in the national and provincial editions of the challenge, along with municipalities from Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, U.K. and the U.S. in the international challenge. Communities will be rated from one to five blooms. National and international communities will strive to obtain bronze, silver or gold levels in their five-bloom rating. The results will be announced in Alberta from Sept. 26-29 during a symposium and awards ceremonies with the theme, Seeds for the Future.

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the enhancement of green spaces in communities. Visit communitiesinbloom.ca to learn more.