COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 21, 2021 – Coquitlam’s efforts to support the community through the pandemic and to provide opportunities for citizen involvement have earned it another national Communities in Bloom award.
Coquitlam received an Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Involvement for its Community Support & Recovery Plan (CSRP) – a dedicated pandemic relief fund – along with various volunteer-based initiatives that enhance and beautify the community.
This latest recognition adds to Coquitlam’s past wins at the provincial, national and international levels of Communities in Bloom (CIB), a friendly competition between cities that encourages civic pride, beautification and environmental responsibility.
Pandemic Relief Program Featured
A highlight of the City’s award submission was the CSRP, launched in 2020 to provide immediate and long-term support to residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other groups. Intended to enhance long-term community resiliency, the program has provided financial and social support to residents while also helping organizations and businesses continue to operate and provide services during the pandemic and beyond.
Among the CSRP investments is a Community Volunteer Support Hub launched earlier this year to provide struggling not-for-profit organizations with supports including workshops to build organizational capacity and an online support hub with volunteer position databases, workshop registration links, funding resources and other information. A related Youth Community Social Media Pilot, currently in progress, links youth volunteers with community organizations to help them build their social media presence.
Other CSRP community supports have included revenue replacement and pandemic-response grants for not-for-profit and community organizations, donations to rent and food banks, a frozen meal delivery and take-out program for isolated seniors, reduced drop-in recreation rates to encourage residents to take advantage of safe recreation options, and an expanded recreation financial assistance program.
Volunteer Involvement Highlighted
The City’s CIB award submission also highlighted programs that provide the public with opportunities to enhance the community and environment, including:
- Various volunteer stewardship programs that encourage residents to keep public spaces clean and litter-free (information at www.coquitlam.ca/adoptapark, www.coquitlam.ca/adoptastreet, www.coquitlam.ca/adoptadogpark or www.coquitlam.ca/adoptacatchbasin);
- Park Spark public engagement programs including litter cleanups and the Garden Volunteer program (information: www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark);
- The City’s community garden program, through which residents grow fruits, vegetables and flowers for their own enjoyment and share fresh produce with local food banks;
- Coquitlam Munch edible planters maintained by Austin Heights businesses; and
- Recycling programs that provide receptacles for used fishing line at Como Lake and Lafarge Lake and for cigarette butts at strategic locations around the city.
Coquitlam in Bloom Projects
As part of its annual CIB participation, Coquitlam plans a variety of community engagement and improvement activities each year through a Coquitlam in Bloom campaign.
This year’s campaign focused on promoting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, as well as activities that encouraged residents to get outdoors and become involved in their community. Activities for 2021 included pop-up family and teen events in Coquitlam parks, Park Spark volunteer activities, and pollinator-themed selfie stations, fun fact signage and fence-panel painting.
Coquitlam also participated in Hope is Growing, a national campaign to see the country awash with yellow gardens featuring the international colour of hope. The City encouraged residents to create their own Hope Gardens and also planted a number of yellow gardens at City parks and public spaces with the assistance of staff and volunteers.
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. Coquitlam participates annually and has earned a number of awards at the provincial, national and international level. Learn more about the program at www.communitiesinbloom.ca. Coquitlam’s participation is outlined at www.coquitlam.ca/cib.
Parks Operations Manager
City of Coquitlam