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Humboldt judged in national contest

They came, they saw, they sniffed. Two judges from the Communities in Bloom (CIB) 2011 National competition were in Humboldt July 14-16, checking out everything from potted plants to recycling programs.
Communities in Bloom (CIB) judges Diane Clasen (left) and Gerry Teahen speak with property owner Joan Hergott, city employee Kirt Holowachuk and local CIB committee member Janice Ruedig in Hergott's beautifully landscaped yard in Humboldt on July 15. Hergott's was one of three residential yards the judges toured during their stop in Humboldt.

They came, they saw, they sniffed.
Two judges from the Communities in Bloom (CIB) 2011 National competition were in Humboldt July 14-16, checking out everything from potted plants to recycling programs.
CIB is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility, beautification and to improving quality of life through community participation and a national challenge.
Humboldt is competing in the 3,001 to 7,500 population category along with places like Jasper, AB; Sussex, NB; Bay Roberts, NL; Marystown, NL; Stettler, AB, and Windsor, NS.
Judges Diane Clasen from Raleigh, North Carolina and Gerry Teahen from St. Mary's, ON, are evaluating all of the communities in this category, and made Humboldt their first visit.
What were they looking for?
The CIB judges evaluate each community on its overall performance in the following categories: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and groundcovers, floral displays and community involvement.
On the first day of their visit to Humboldt, the judges were given the basics of Humboldt's history through visits to the Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery (HDMG), the Original Humboldt site and the Benson-Hingley Military Museum in the Humboldt Legion Hall.
On day two, they were outside bright and early, taking in Civic Park, including the Heritage Garden there. They popped in at City Hall to speak with Mayor Malcolm Eaton and a few city department heads about where the city is now, and what their plans are for the future.
Escorted by members of the local CIB committee, they then toured three residential gardens, Glenn Hall Park, Caleb Village, the Historical Park Campground, Water Ridge Park and the Humboldt Golf Club.
The judges took a breather at the Humboldt Golf Club at noon, eating lunch with representatives of city council, the HDMG, the Humboldt Water Tower committee, the Water Ridge Park committee, the CIB committee, the Heritage Garden committee, and the Community Trails committee, to name a few. Members of the city staff who look after local greenspaces were also present.
Mayor Eaton thanked the groups present "for making this city... a beautiful place."
The contribution, he continued, of groups and organizations in the city has been huge.
"We are lucky to have such an active, vibrant population," he said.
CIB, he continued, is about more than flowers.
"It's about pride in the community. It's about making a great place to live. And sometimes... it brings people together."
Humboldt, Eaton noted, has always had a population that has taken a lot of pride in its appearance. Step by step, every year, a new piece is added or a project is completed, he said, and that is a real testament to the strength of the community.
"We believe (the CIB) program is a great program for all of Canada and the United States (and is running) in Ireland, England and Scotland, too," said Teahen at the luncheon.
CIB, he noted, "does show the civic pride you have."
He thanked the mayor, council and city staff for their involvement with CIB.
"This program will not survive if it doesn't have volunteer and municipal support," he said.
What was their impression of Humboldt thus far?
"I think Humboldt is a wonderful little community. It's got a lot of potential... a lot of dedicated people working hard... It's doing really well," said Teahen.
Something he sees as having huge potential impact on local tourism is the Original Humboldt site.
"It's an absolute and total jewel," he said. "It could be the best tourism attraction you have going."
Teahen's wife is actually from the Humboldt region, and he had time to visit with a relative in Cudworth during his time here, he noted.
"My impression is that it's growing," Clasen said of Humboldt. "It's moving forward for the future. The people in Humboldt are developing a vision for what they want it to be 20 years from now, and I think that's very exciting.... You have to be looking forward in this world. It's just the way it is now. If you sit still, you fall behind."
The reclaimed land that is now Water Ridge Park was what had impressed Clasen the most so far.
"I think it's a beautiful location, a beautiful venue. It's great. When you have the spray park added, there's going to be something there for all ages."
After lunch, the judges visited the Humboldt Water Tower, Misty Gardens, local cemeteries, the new Humboldt District Health Complex, the Centennial Park grounds and the new high school, recycle areas, the Humboldt and Area Vintage and Antique Club and the REACT Sanitary Landfill.
On Saturday, the judges drove around the city some more before departing to catch their plane to Alberta in the afternoon.
The results of the judging will be announced at the 17th National Awards ceremonies, held this year in Quebec City on October 29.
Whatever the outcome for Humboldt, the judges will provide a detailed evaluation report to identify the community's strengths, and provide suggestions for improvement.