Councilor and Selkirk College Continuing Education Coordinator Ulli Mueller has championed a proposal on behalf of Nakusp to participate in the Communities In Bloom (CIB) program.
CIB is designed as a continuous community improvement program that provides a framework of criteria that are judged then assigned a rating from 1 to 5 blooms. The eight categories include: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. Communities can participate in provincial, national and international levels of competition. There is also a non-competitive category as well as a novice program for communities to use as a jumping off point.
Mueller has spearheaded participation in the novice program by forming a committee with School District 10 employee, Kathleen Jones and NACFOR Project Manager, Frances Swan. Mueller then invited CIB judges Rea Smith and Michelle Rule to tour Nakusp and begin the mentoring process. After a morning spent reviewing the village, Smith and Rule presented a workshop to the inceptive committee members at Selkirk College.
“It’s about livability” Smith clarifies, “and all those little things in your community that make this a place for people to live in or visit.”
The novice program is organized as an introduction to CiB and involves participating communities choosing three of the eight criteria to develop then submit for judging. Mueller, in consultation with Swan, decided to focus on environmental, tidiness and landscape criteria for next year’s judging.
There are three levels of competition that CIB is involved with; Provincial, National and International and are based on flagship programs in Britain, England and Ireland.
The process involves the formation of a local community enhancement committee who would bring interested volunteers and existing programs under its umbrella to create a Community Profile. Naksup then had a year to focus on developing the community to reflect three of the six themes that make up the criteria for judging. Mueller along with Swan chose the three themes to focus on.
Smith and Rule encouraged participation in the program claiming it as a source of ignition for community pride and provides a chance to showcase heritage while encouraging friendly competition with neighboring communities.
Rule identified the next step for Nakusp would be the formation of a local community enhancement committee who would bring interested volunteers and existing programs under its umbrella to create a community profile.
The creation of a community profile is a valuable exercise in and of itself that highlights Nakusp’s assets and identifies areas of improvement in the context of competition.
The profile would be owned by the village and typically ends up in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce or in the mayor’s office to be used as a promotional reference for the community.