Merrickville-Wolford welcomed the judges for the Communities in Bloom competition to the Village last week, with a welcome fit for a king, or kings in this case.
The judges, Lucy Chang and Louise Dumouchel, arrived on Wednesday afternoon from Ottawa. The Mayor, municipal councillors, staff, and community members gathered at the Goose and Gridiron on Wednesday night for dinner, complete with desserts from the various local bakeries and a video showcasing the Village, made by local videographer, Clayton Mackinnon. Local blues singer, Maria Hawkins, also made a surprise appearance, singing a rendition of “I can see clearly now”.
Lucy and Louise are the judges for the municipalities in the category of those with populations up to 4,500 in the national competition. Throughout the summer, they will also be traveling to small municipalities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Lucy is a master gardener, who recently moved to Ottawa from Alberta and has been a judge for Communities in Bloom for the past 16 years. Louise is a biologist, with extensive gardening experience, and is new to the competition this year.
On Thursday, the judges were toured around the Village of Merrickville -Wolford by Communities in Bloom committee members Hope Gray, Chris Scullino, and Tim Molloy. In the morning, they saw the Blockhouse, learned about the history of Merrickville, visited local artists and artisans, saw the Merrickville Community Garden, one of the trails, and some of the private gardens in the Village. In the afternoon, they ventured out into Wolford ward to visit the farms and sites in the rural area.
Merrickville-Wolford is hoping to win the top prize of 5 blooms in the national competition, which will allow them to compete on the international stage next year. The National Symposium on Parks and Grounds, and the National and International Communities in Bloom Awards Ceremony, will be held in Ottawa from September 13-16, 2017.