What makes a community a great place to live? Is it friendly neighbours, clean parks, or environmentally-sound practices? Is it conserving the past while moving forward? Perhaps it is a combination of all of these factors.
This year, North Battleford will find out how it measures up as a community, as it takes part, for the first time ever, in Communities in Bloom.
"This is very exciting," said Councillor Rhonda Seidel, who is on the North Battleford Communities in Bloom committee.
Communities in Bloom is a non-profit organization aiming to bolster community pride, environmental stewardship and beautification through their nation-wide challenge.
Participating communities can compete either nationally or provincially and are judged by a visiting panel of volunteers on tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, floral displays, urban forestry, turf and groundcovers, landscape and community involvement.
"It's unfortunate that many people think Communities in Bloom is just about putting out some flowers," said Seidel.
The North Battleford Communities in Bloom committee, comprised of Seidel, Charlotte Hamilton, Nora Rongve and Trent Houk, will be hosting a tea Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Chapel Gallery for people and organizations to attend and share what they are currently doing in the community, as well as what they might be interested in doing.
"It's about engagement," said Seidel. "This is the biggest thing we need to focus on, bringing individuals and organizations together to make North Battleford a better place to work, play and live."
The national organization was founded in 1995, based on similar European programs, namely, Britain in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland and Villes et Villages Fleuris de France (Blooming cities and towns of France). Since then, Communities in Bloom has grown from 29 participating communities to over 500 and now involves an international challenge which pits Canadian communities against counterparts in the United States, Europe and Japan.