Three blooms for Estevan's appearance

Estevan has once again received high praise from the two Communities in Bloom judges who visited the community in July.

According to a news release from the City of Estevan issued on Monday, the judges remarked specifically on the efforts that have been made in the development of the city in parks, energy efficiency and care of urban forestry, and stated that “Estevan is a jewel in southern Saskatchewan.”

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Estevan received three of a possible five blooms in the non-competitive category.

“This year we participated in Communities in Bloom to gain a visitors’ and residents’ perspective,” said parks and facilities manager Rod March. “Now we’ve learned a few things, and we’re learning to focus our efforts in Estevan in better ways.”

Judges Bonita Lundberg and Kathy Sproat Michelson were guided on a tour, visiting many Estevan attractions and locations which showcased Estevan’s tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, and landscape and floral design.

At the time, they had high praise for the community, and once again lauded local efforts in their final assessment.

“In my opinion, the evaluated score does leave us room to improve some of our goals, to strive for, but it gives us the confidence that we can compete in the competitive category in the next coming years,” said parks foreman Shannon Wanner.

A decision has not been made on whether Estevan will enter the competitive component of Communities in Bloom. Estevan moved from the novice category in 2017 to the evaluated friends division this year. It’s the last notch beneath the competitive stage.

“It will probably be one more year in the non-competitive, and then maybe the competitive, but I’m not saying yes or no on that,” said Wanner.

March, Wanner, and Rebecca Westling, the city’s destination marketing and communications consultant, led the tour for Lundberg and Sproat Michelson.

“You have a good handle on the tidiness portion of the evaluation. Your mowing is exceptional as well as the weeding and watering throughout the city,” said the judges. “The overall ‘Wow’ factor was exceptional upon arrival.”

“The judges did make recommendations on updating benches throughout the city as well as a few others,” said Wanner. “Most of the recommendations they made are attainable and we will be making adjustments to make those things a focus. Some recommendations are larger projects and it was suggested to get a Communities in Bloom working committee going.”

There have since been discussions about starting the committee, in an effort to gain more community support.

Details on what committee members should bring to the table have not been finalized.

Wanner was particularly pleased to hear the judges were impressed with the tidiness of the city, since that is an aspect the city has been working on.

“It was quite nice to have them and receive their feedback,” said Wanner.

She stressed that Communities in Bloom is about more than just flowers or beautification efforts.

“Communities in Bloom is all about seeing communities grow in a healthy and sustainable way. We are looking for residents who want to help make our community stand out even more and advance into a competitive category of the communities in bloom program.”

Any resident wishing to partake on this working committee can contact Wanner at 306-634-1800.

© Copyright 2018 Estevan Mercury

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