Communities in Bloom has plans for Springhill

SPRINGHILL – A budding relationship is developing between Springhill and Communities in Bloom.

Springhill pollinated by Communities in Bloom
Hanging flowers on Main Street have helped with the beautification of Springhill. Dave Mathieson – Citizen-Record

“We will have a meeting in the fall to get ourselves organized so we can register with the provincial Communities in Bloom,” said Maryanne Jackson, councillor for District 12.

Communities in Bloom, Pugwash, gave a presentation to about 20 people Thursday night at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre.

“We asked the Communities in Bloom group from Pugwash to come up and present to us what they’ve been doing in Pugwash so people here can kind of have an idea of what Communities in Bloom is all about and how to get it started,” said Jackson.

Jackson and councillor Doug Williams made initial contact with the Pugwash group, and Thursday nights meeting was organized in conjunction with the Springhill Gardening Committee.

Communities in Bloom mandate is to ‘foster civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation.’

“I see us starting a Communities in Bloom project here in Springhill because we have so many projects going on and I thing the framework of Communities in Bloom will help us organize that,” said Jackson.

Current projects she points to include: the community healing garden at the All Saints Hospital, the hanging flower baskets on Main Street, the community garden at the Lions Park, and volunteers gardening at both the Miners Monument and the War Memorial cenotaph. She also points to the Ann Murray Centre and various businesses throughout Springhill who have beautified their surroundings.

“You have many volunteers working on the projects, and what Communities in Bloom tries to do is get everybody involved and people can pick and choose what projects they like to work on,” said Jackson.

Before they amalgamated with the Municipality of Cumberland County, Springhill developed a beautification strategy in 2012.

“There are many projects in the beautification strategy that could be done, and Communities in Bloom could be one way to get that work started,” said Jackson. “Beautifying the entrances to Springhill is one of several projects identified in the beautification strategy.”

Springhill pollinated by Communities in Bloom
Volunteers lined the sidewalk at the Miners Monument with flowers making it more attractive to tourists visiting Springhill. Dave Mathieson – Citizen-Record

Town’s participating in Communities in Bloom usually chooses a theme. In Pugwash that theme is peace.

 “We have our mining heritage and we have geothermal, so our mining past and green future could be the theme to start things out,” said Jackson.

Jackson thanked the Pugwash group for their presentation, and for giving Springhill a starting point.

“They won a national award and have much experience with Communities in Bloom. It was a very informative session,” said Jackson.

Anybody interested registering for the fall meeting can call Jackson at 902-763-2294.

“We’re going to work all winter to get everything in place, and then we’ll be starting in the spring,” she said.

Springhill pollinated by Communities in Bloom
The All Saints Springhill Hospital has a beautiful garden. Dave Mathieson – Citizen-Record

About Communities in Bloom

– Communities in Bloom are a Canadian non-profit organization that began in 1995 with 29 Canadian communities and has grown to include hundreds of communities throughout Canada and Europe.

– There are provincial and national editions of Communities in Bloom.

– Trained volunteer judges travel across Canada during the summer to evaluate communities and the overall contributions of municipality, businesses, institutions, and residents, including volunteer efforts in regards to the criteria of: tidiness, urban forestry, environmental action, landscape, heritage conservation, and floral displays.

Springhill pollinated by Communities in Bloom
The Anne Murray Centre has an abundance of flowers and plant life surrounding the centre. Dave Mathieson – Citizen-Record

Benefits of participation include:

– Increased civic pride and community involvement

– Environmental stewardship through the enhancement of green spaces

– Mobilization of citizens, groups, organizations, business and the municipality

– Best practices and information exchange

– Valuable information and feedback from judges
Springhill pollinated by Communities in Bloom
Landscapes, such as the natural playground at the Lions Park, play an important part in the Communities in Bloom rating system. Dave Mathieson – Citizen-Record

– Economic development and increased property values

– Marketing and promotional opportunities

– Positive benefits for the tourism, hospitality and retail industries

– Improved quality of life

– Participation from all ages and walks of life of the community