Communities in Bloom coordinator Deb Heap shows off the memorial garden at Eagle River Secondary, one of the many beautiful parts of Sicamous which will be examined by the Communities in Bloom judges when they visit Sicamous on July 15-17. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Video: Sicamous prepares for Communities in Bloom judging

Judges visit on July 15-17

Sicamous is beginning to look its best as the Communities in Bloom judging date approaches.

The judges for the nationwide community beautification program will be in Sicamous July 15 to 17.

A great deal of work has gone into sprucing up Sicamous for the judges. One of the centrepieces of Communities in Bloom’s 2018 effort to improve the look of Sicamous’ downtown is the mural on the west-facing wall of the Sicamous branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“It’s been a really great co-operative project between Communities in Bloom, the legion and the Eagle Valley Arts Council,” said Communities in Bloom co-ordinator Deb Heap.

Heap added the mural is still a work in progress as the weather has been unsuitable for outdoor painting, slowing progress somewhat.

“What they’ve got so far is wonderful and it’s going to be even better,” she said.

The legion hall located on Main Street is just one focus of the beautification effort in the centre of Sicamous. The Communities in Bloom demonstration garden is located at the front of the Questview apartment building’s long green lawn. Heap said the apartment building, which is set far back from the street, is not conducive to a good streetscape but addedthe garden, which has a thriving rose bush as its centrepiece, has improved the esthetics of that part of the street.

“It’s really a beautiful example of working in a three-way partnership and really getting the streetscape looking better than it did previously,” Heap said.

Plants for the demonstration garden were donated by Buckerfield’s.

The younger generation is also getting in on beautifying Sicamous with the Communities in Bloom kids’ vegetable garden located in front of the health centre. Maintenance of the garden is a fun activity for the District of Sicamous’ After School and Summer Kids program. Heap said Communities in Bloom volunteers have been helping the kids with weeding, watering and other fundamentals of gardening.

Beyond planting and maintaining gardens, Communities in Bloom is also helping to organize the harvest of local fruit trees and bushes with a harvest registry. The registry pairs those with fruit-bearing trees and bushes with those who want to do some picking; the harvest is split between the picker, the owner and the food bank.

Those interested in the harvest registry can learn more by sending an email to jvalfred@gmail.com or visiting https://www.facebook.com/sicamousharvestregistry/.

Heap said the district already does a wonderful job with their public gardens and Communities in Bloom just builds on that.

She added that business owners have been very receptive to beautification projects.

“There’s amazing things going on on Main Street with the businesses and any way we can help there its great,” Heap said.

Competing in the 1,000 to 3,000 population category, Sicamous earned a three-bloom rating in 2017 with special mention made of the new roundabout improving the looks of the entrance to downtown.

Heap said she thinks the community will show very well this year.

She asks on behalf of everyone who worked on the Communities in Bloom projects that residents do their part to improve the look of Sicamous by tidying their properties and mowing their lawns.

“We’re looking forward to having a great evaluation from the judges on July 15,” Heap said.

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