For the past few years the community of Barriere has been a participant in the Communities in Bloom program. Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.
Communities in Bloom provincial judges now visit the community of Barriere each year to evaluate the community on an eight program criteria and award a bloom rating from one to five blooms (five being the highest ranking) at a provincial awards ceremony in the fall. In 2014 Barriere received a four bloom rating and local residents are now hoping the next ceremony might award a five bloom award.
For months community members have been sprucing up the town, tending to gardens, and taking a large amount of civic pride in where they live. All of the effort does not go unnoticed, as the community looked exceptionally neat and tidy when the judges arrived last weekend.
A welcome barbecue for the judges was held at the Bandshell last Sunday to give area residents a chance to meet the judges, providing a good reason to get out of the house and socialize with friends and neighbours. Mayor Virginia Smith noted that the free barbecue was a resounding success, “We went through 150 hamburgers, 200 cans of pop and 100 bottles of water. Nothing was left!”
Entertainment for the evening was provided by youth from the Thompson Valley Players and Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach theatre camp. The kids performed a play that they wrote, choreographed, produced and acted in as a result of the camp.
“The kids were fantastic,” said Mayor Smith, “They performed for over an hour and they were absolutely wonderful.”
The judges also had time to meet and chat with a number of local organization members and volunteers who turned out with booths and displays for the barbecue.
On Monday the judges travelled throughout the community touring key destinations and in general getting a feel for Barriere.
Now everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for Barriere to do well at the Communities in Bloom awards to be held this September.