The City of Barrie recently received a 5 Blooms – Silver rating and a special mention for Tall Trees Park – Forestry Education Initiative during the 2019 National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The City of Barrie participated in the International Challenge Large category along with Coquitlam, British Columbia; Halesowen, United Kingdom; Lexington, Kentucky; Székesfehérvár, Hungary and Wood Buffalo, Alberta.
Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.
Communities are evaluated using a “bloom” rating determined by the total score of the evaluation—0 to 55% earns 1 Bloom, 56 to 63% gets 2 Blooms, 64 to 72% equals 3 Blooms, 73 to 81% receives 4 Blooms and 82% and over earns 5 Blooms.
There are four levels of 5 Blooms exclusive to the National and International Edition—5 Blooms is from 82 to 83.9%; Bronze is 84 to 86.9%; Silver is from 87 to 89.9% and Gold is 90% and over.
Following their evaluation, volunteer judges John Lohuis and Alex Pearl wrote:
“At a time when Canada is experiencing continued climate change, one of the more effective ways to deal with increased carbon is to plant and ensure the survival of trees. The City of Barrie actively engages its citizens and particularly its school population in the care and health of the urban forest. Active outreach sessions and curriculum content are provided by skilled City of Barrie forestry staff. The interpretive signage program forms an important benchmark example of how the city is able to protect, interpret and utilize its forested outdoors as an active outdoor classroom and science lab. The City is demonstrating proactive preservation policies in advance of utilizing recently-annexed lands with contiguous environmental corridors and protected woodlands. The City of Barrie can be truly congratulated for how it engages and celebrates forward-looking parks design, floral excellence and city events with its citizens.”
Within the actual context of climate changes and environmental concerns, communities involved in the program can be proud of their efforts, which provide real and meaningful environmental solutions and benefit all of society.
For a complete list of the results and the electronic copy of the Communities in Bloom magazine, please visit www.communitiesinbloom.ca
Photo by courtesy of the City of Barrie