The Village of Merrickville-Wolford has been awarded one of the top prizes in the national Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition. Merrickville-Wolford in Bloom Chair, Chris Scullino, and his partner, Chris Chamberlain, travelled to Strathcona County, Alberta, at the end of September to represent Merrickville-Wolford at the 2018 Communities in Bloom National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies. Deputy Mayor, Anne Barr, also joined them for part of the event.
During the symposium, Chris says they attended several presentations and workshops having to do with the CiB goals of civic pride, environmental responsibility, and beautification through community involvement. One presentation that stood out for him was made by the Alberta Health Services, about municipalities and marijuana. “I will be bringing that information back to council,” Chris says.
On September 28, there was a dinner, called the Community Showcase, where municipalities were recognized with outstanding achievement awards. Merrickville-Wolford was a finalist in the Winter Life category for Christmas in Merrickville.
On September 29, the final awards ceremonies were held and winners of the national and international CiB competition were announced. Although Merrickville did not win the top prize this year, they came extremely close, almost tying for the top spot with Hanna, Alberta. “There could only be one winner,” Chris says. “The judges loved Merrickville and said we were banging down the door for the award.”
Chris is very happy with their result of Five Blooms with Bronze rating, and an honourable mention for their business community support and involvement. They improved their score from last year and proved they are a competitive municipality in the program, even though they were competing in a category with much larger municipalities. This year, Merrickville-Wolford competed against Hanna, Alberta, and Madawaska Valley and Prescott, Ontario in the municipalities from 1,501 to 5,000 category. “It’s considered a champion standing,” Chris says. “Even though we didn’t bring home the award, it’s still a nice feather in our cap.”