Back in Bloom

Nathan Liewicki
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City joins national beautification program

Daily Lennox is enthusiastic about beautifying the city’s back allies. She even has a small vegetable garden in between her backyard fence and the adjacent back alley.

As part of the national Communities in Bloom program for the first time in more than a decade, Moose Jaw will be evaluated on a number of criteria, including floral displays, on July 30.

“To me, back allies are a big part of this town,” Lennox, a parks gardener with the City of Moose Jaw told the Times-Herald on Sunday. “They’re not just wasted weedy space.”

She alluded to a back alley in South Hill where most of the neighbours have cleaned up and beautified the space with flowers and gardens. Lennox said the sight looked so aesthetically pleasing she decided to add Best Back Alley as the sixth category of Moose Jaw’s beautification awards.

The other award categories include best residential garden display; best residential planters and/or balcony; best commercial property; best residential or commercial xeriscaping property; and best residential property.

Last year there was a tremendous level of support from Moose Javians, but with the July 31 nomination deadline looming, Lennox says she has yet to receive any nominations.

She finds it “really odd,” especially since sponsors who will be donating prizes to the award winners were brought on board this year.

Nonetheless, Lennox is looking forward to Wednesday, when Communities in Bloom judges will evaluate the city in six categories – tidiness; environmental awareness; natural and cultural heritage conservation; landscape areas; tree/urban forest management; and floral display.

With a focus on enhancing green spaces, Communities in Bloom is a national program promoting civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement.

“It's a good way to get everybody in your town involved and hope to build some community pride,” said Lennox, who is a co-chair of the local committee. “Maybe everyone cleans up garbage in their area. It can be something as simple as that.”

In fact, the Friendly City’s participation in the program marks the first time it has done so since 2001.

Although Moose Jaw is participating in Communities in Bloom, this year it is doing so as part of a non-competitive group against other communities of similar size.

Lennox is optimistic the city will join the competitive ranks in 2015.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, South Hill, Friendly

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