Moosomin recognized for winning Communities in Bloom

January 29, 2024, 10:05 am
Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Communities in Bloom Committee. In back from left are Andrew Exelby with Sask Parks and Rec presenting the awards and certificates of recognition, Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson, Chris Davidson with the Moosomin Regional Park Board, and Pansy Taylor. In front are Moosomin Rec Director Mike Schwean, Moosomin EDO Casey McCormac, Lynn Smart, and Carol Adair.

With a blooming fine return to the Communities in Bloom program, the Town of Moosomin officially received acknowledgment for achieving Four Blooms recently.

“Moosomin was involved quite a number of years ago, and then 2023 was the first year of involvement again,” said Andrew Exelby, Parks and Open Space Consultant with Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation. He made the drive to Moosomin to present the award to community members during the Jan. 23 Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“It really is impressive for a community to get involved with the program and do so well in its first year after many years being away from the program. Our judges know that there was an outstanding level of community involvement and volunteerism. They also noted the high level of corporate sponsorship. From my perspective, it’s very humbling to see a business community that understands how important it is to help enhance their community.”

In the community category of 2,001-3,000 people, the Town of Moosomin achieved Four Blooms, with a special mention for community and business support plus volunteerism. Special recognition awards were presented to the MacNaughton High School Environmental Science class and the Moosomin and District Regional Park.

“People always think about Communities in Bloom as just about flowers, but it’s actually much more than planting flowers,” Exelby explained. “It’s about community development. When the program was called Communities in Bloom, the word ‘bloom’ was really meant as a metaphor for the overall growth, development and spirit of the community.”

The roots of this program can be traced back around 60 years with the Britain in Bloom program. In 1995, the idea came to Canada, and it wasn’t long before our province got on the bandwagon.

“Then we began co-ordinating a provincial program in partnership with the National Community Building foundation in 1997,” Exelby said.

Through the nearly 30-year history of the national program, more than 1,000 communities have been involved, with a direct economic impact of $28 million.

“For me it was really noteworthy, having looked through evaluations for over 12 years, the amount they mentioned the business community being on board with this, too,” Exelby said while presenting some of the judge’s comments as they pertain to Moosomin. From the judge’s visit, a 20-25 page document is created, filled with their evaluation and comments for communities to utilize during future campaigns.

Participants in the Communities in Bloom program are also promoted as summer destinations in the Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association’s Summer Park guide, making for an added marketing opportunity to attract tourists.

Andrew Exelby, with Sask Parks and Rec, presenting the Communities in Bloom awards and certificates of recognition on Tuesday. From left are Justin Young,  GM of the Rocanville Nutrien mine site who was the main sponsor for the Moosomin area’s entry into the competition, Chris Davidson with the Moosomin Regional Park Board, Andrew Exelby, Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson, and Jack Thompson with Pipestone Hills Golf Club.<br />