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Jun 10, 2016 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Pursues Second Communities in Bloom Win

by Caitlin Osborne |

COQUITLAM, BC, June 9, 2016 – Coquitlam hopes to mark its 125th anniversary with a second win in the Communities in Bloom competition as it launches its 2016 ‘Coquitlam in Bloom’ program.

Public produce gardens, a photography contest and a rose named Coquitlam are among five projects the City is planning this year for the national Communities in Bloom competition, which promotes community pride, beautification and environmental responsibility.

Coquitlam was B.C.’s Communities in Bloom winner in 2015, earning a “Five Bloom” award and an overall mark of over 88 per cent after being judged on tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays within four sectors: municipal, business and institution, residential and community involvement. A special recognition award was also received for excellence in heritage conservation.

Projects such as the Scott Creek Community Garden, a selfie project, a pop-up beach at Blue Mountain Park, and Coquitlam in Bloom (CiB) events at Mackin, Victoria and Como Lake parks helped the City secure the win. Details and a video are posted on the Coquitlam in Bloom webpage

To mark Coquitlam’s 125th anniversary, the CiB Community Committee has been working with the City to plan activities that will build on last year’s success and incorporate some of the judge’s recommendations. The competition is seen as a natural fit with the City’s strategic goal of strengthening neighbourhoods, which is also one of the goals of Coquitlam 125.

The 2016 Coquitlam in Bloom program also moves the City’s participation from the provincial level to the national level of competition.

When the judges tour Coquitlam on July 20 and 21, they will receive an updated Community Profile Book, meet with community members, and receive a guided tour of the City.

This year’s projects:

  • Coquitlam Munch – This year’s largest and first CiB initiative, Coquitlam Munch is a partnership with the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association (AHBIA) and will enable the public to taste and share food grown on public land. Forty planters along Ridgeway and Austin Avenues were planted by AHBIA members and other community partners at a launch event held May 26. Adjacent businesses will keep the planters watered and weeded, and the public will be invited to tour the planters from June to October to taste the crops and learn about small-scale sustainable gardening. 
  • Flower of the Year – As Coquitlam’s flower of the year, the dahlia will be distributed to the community at events such as the Terry Bear Picnic and Canada Day, and incorporated into City parks. It was selected for its bright colour, long blooming period, and ability to thrive in either pots or garden beds.
  • 125 Coquitlam Gardens – From June to Sept., Coquitlam residents, businesses and institutions will be invited to submit photos of their favourite gardens, flowers and landscaping – from flower displays and vegetable gardens to pots on balconies – to help build a library of 125 gardens in the community. Photos of gardens featuring Coquitlam’s flower of the year will be encouraged. 
  • Coquitlam Rose – The City has purchased the naming rights for a new variety of rose, to be named “Coquitlam.” The salmon coloured rose is locally bred, hardy, disease-resistant and long-blooming. The first planting of “Coquitlam” will be unveiled July 3 in the Centennial Rose Garden during the 2016 Rose Show. As additional plants become available, the rose will be planted in the Inspiration Garden, parks and public gardens, and will be made available to local growers.
  • Little Toy Libraries – Similar to the Little Free Libraries concept, Little Toy Libraries stocked with balls, Frisbees, jump ropes and other toys will be installed in a number of parks across the City in June and July 2016 for the use of park visitors. The project builds on the Park Spark program’s low-key but popular toy box project introduced in 2015. This year’s toy baskets will be marked by a colourful umbrella to increase their visibility, and will be stocked and monitored by volunteers and businesses.

The results of the Communities in Bloom competition will be announced at the national conference Oct. 29 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

About Communities in Bloom

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering community pride, environmental responsibility and beautification.

It uses friendly competition between communities to bring together local businesses, service clubs, residents and civic government to focus on enhancing their community. 
Judges visit the City over a two-day period in the summer to assess the performance of four sectors: municipal, business and institutions, residential and community involvement.

Each of these sectors is judged on their performance in six categories:

  • Tidiness
  • Environmental action
  • Heritage conservation
  • Urban forestry
  • Landscape
  • Floral display

For more information, visit www.communitiesinbloom.ca 

To learn more about Coquitlam’s 2016 entry, visit www.coquitlam.ca/cib.

About Coquitlam 125
Coquitlam is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016 with a year-long celebration that honours the community’s rich history and sets the stage for a dynamic future.

When Coquitlam was incorporated on July 25, 1891, it was a small agricultural community, with a state-of-the-art lumber mill – the future Fraser Mills – under construction near the Fraser River. French Canadians settled in the area in the early 1900s and established Maillardville, the largest Francophone centre west of the Rockies. Today, Coquitlam is home to over 140,000 people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and over 6,200 businesses.

The Coquitlam 125 Anniversary Steering Task Force (CAST Force) is guided by the Coquitlam 125 vision – Stories told, stories to be created – as it engages the community through meaningful experiences that celebrate our heritage, create strong connections and inspire lasting legacies towards an exciting future.
For more information, visit www.coquitlam125.ca.

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Media contact:
Kathleen Reinheimer
Manager Parks
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3533
kreinheimer@coquitlam.ca