Shannon Wanner expects Estevan will be looking great next week when two judges visit the city through the Communities in Bloom competition.
Wanner, who is the horticulturalist for the City of Estevan, said the judges will be coming on July 15. A couple from Humboldt will be tasked with evaluating Estevan’s tidiness and overall appearance.
“I will tour them around the city, and they look at different areas of the city,” said Wanner. “They will be looking at different parks, our greenspaces, they’ll be looking at the leisure centre and the cemetery.”
Estevan is in the evaluated friends division, and will be scored on the six criteria for Communities in Bloom: urban forestry, landscapes, floral arrangements, heritage conversation, environmental awareness and tidiness.
She believes Estevan looks great now with their visit only a few days away.
“I think we’re doing great on all of them,” said Wanner. “Last year we got a comment on the tidiness, so I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys think. Everybody has been working hard to keep our city clean and to make sure everything looks good and cut.”
In the days before the judges arrive, the city’s staff will be focused on those six criteria.
This marks the third straight year that Estevan has been entered in Communities in Bloom, and the second straight year it has been in the evaluated friends category. The judges come down to pay Estevan a visit and tour the different areas, based on the six criteria. They also hand out blooms in a fashion similar to the star ratings critics use to evaluate movies.
But since Estevan is in evaluated friends, it doesn’t actually compete with other communities in the province or the country.
Last year Estevan received a rating of three blooms, and the judges praised the city, calling Estevan a “jewel” in southern Saskatchewan. The judges, who were different from the ones who will tour Estevan this year, expressed their belief that Estevan was ready to advance to the next level in the competition.
“I was quite impressed. They really enjoyed our city, and they thought we had lots to offer,” said Wanner.
But the city decided to wait at least one more year before moving up, so that it could receive the feedback of a different set of judges and to find out where Estevan still needs improvement in its appearance.
Wanner hopes that Estevan residents will do their part to help the city look good before the judges arrive.
“They can make sure that the yards look nice and clean,” said Wanner. “Cut your grass, paint your fences and make sure ... there aren’t a lot of weeds in it if you can.”