‘Bloom’ committee to hold first meeting

The inaugural meeting of the “Communities in Bloom” committee is slated for tonight at 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre and anyone interested in helping beautify Fort Frances is welcome to attend.
Helen Crook, secretary of the Fort Frances Horticultural Society, said yesterday afternoon there’s no formal agenda.
But some of the business she and some other members of the society hope to get started on is a plan of action and objectives for the committee, developing a slogan, and identifying possible incentives to offer local residents and business owners to work even harder to beautify the town.
The committee also must look at developing a booklet which gives a brief history of Fort Frances, as well as outlines various annual events in the town and the beautification efforts made here.
Crook noted the ultimate goal of the committee is to get Fort Frances official recognition in the eyes of the national “Communities in Bloom” program, and compete against other communities with a population between 5,000-10,000.
Such status not only will enhance the town’s reputation as a tourist stop, but give formal recognition to various groups, such as local service clubs for area parks, the town for its cemeteries, and the Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Association for projects like the hanging flower baskets and planters.
Crook said other details, such as whether the “Communities in Bloom” committee will be a formal body or more of a working group, will be determined tonight.
Anyone with questions about tonight’s meeting can call Crook at 274-5431.
The idea to participate in the “Communities in Bloom” program came forward at a March council meeting.
After much discussion, councillors eventually agreed to support being involved in the “Communities in Bloom” project in principle, with no financial contribution beyond the $400 application fee.
This past August, two representatives from “Communities in Bloom”—Lee Rozon and Angela Vieth—spent two days visiting various sites around town with Mayor Dan Onichuk, including the Hope fountain, the Hallett, the Fort Frances Museum, and the La Verendrye Parkway.
The pair said they were “impressed with the community and its beautification efforts” during that preliminary visit.
“Communities in Bloom” is a Canadian beautification program that provides information and education on—and awards “Bloom Ratings” for achievements in—floral displays, landscapes, urban forestry, community involvement, heritage conservation, environmental awareness, and tidiness for cities and towns across the country.
Participating municipalities can be part of a provincial competition and be rated on a system of “blooms” after being evaluated by a jury. This possibly can lead to participating in a national competition with other communities in the program.
Being rated as a “Community in Bloom” translates into opportunities for provincial, national, and possibly international visibility, increased tourism (and tourist dollars), and increasing civic pride and community involvement, according to information from “Communities in Bloom.”
As well, feedback from the jury and the “Communities in Bloom” network as to what the town may be doing right or wrong in the area of beautification can be used to make improvements.