Communities in Bloom judges take tour around city

Two experienced judges for the provincial Communities in Bloom program had a guided tour around Weyburn on Thursday, to evaluate the city on its cleanliness and beauty as a community.

Kathleen Mickelson and Bonita Lundberg, both of Saskatoon, spent the day with Claude Morin, Public Works and Parks superintendent, and parks coordinator Linda Prokott, including the downtown area, a golf cart tour of the Tatagwa Parkway around the city, plus the museum and boardwalk.

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After lunch, their tour included the Signal Hill Arts Centre, water tower, Heritage Village and the landfill, as well as school grounds and Jubilee Park.

During the judges lunch stop at River Park, they were asked for their impressions of what they had seen around the city.

“I think the Tatagwa Parkway is absolutely a jewel. It’s a lovely thing, and it’s quite amazing how beautiful it is,” said Mickelson.

Lundberg added that parks planners were obviously forward-thinking as they planned out how the parks would be set up, and was impressed that even disc golf had been added to help bring in residents to enjoy the parks, with all ages able to access and enjoy the facilities. She also noted the off-leash dog park was a prime example of a well-used park facility, and said the urban forestry “was well-done and very diversified.”

Mickelson agreed, and liked the tree canopies on many of the residential streets, along with the historical sites that are in evidence around the city. She noted she liked the area on the boardwalk around the Tommy Douglas statue, as it’s a nice place for people to stop and enjoy the site.

Lundberg said she was impressed by the wheat sculptures along Highway 39 through the centre of the city, and commented they are very unique.

“There’s a very active downtown area, which a lot of towns struggle with. It’s quite attractive with the planters and trees, and historical churches,” she said.

The city has been evaluated competitively in the past, but this year the city was judged on a non-competitive level as “evaluated friends”, to help the city understand where their strengths are, and where improvements can be made. The city will receive a bloom rating on a scale of 1 to 5, plus the evaluation comments from the judges.

The evaluation criteria included judging of tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays.