MV competes nationally for Communities in Bloom

Photo: Harrison Haines

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.

Source: CiB national website

Communities in Bloom for the Township of Madawaska Valley was started in 2016, an endeavor of our Barry’s Bay BIA (Business Improvement Area).   The idea was presented to the BIA by board of management members Debbie Marshall and Elser Lee Faith Archer (representing MV Township Council).   Rather than limit the competition to just the BIA area, it was agreed that encompassing the whole of our township would be the best idea and be of benefit to all.  The BIA generously supports CiB each year, with other monetary donations coming from The Co-operators and MV Lions Club and in exchange for doing the winter hanging baskets at the train station, our township donates towards our CiB registration fee.

2018 colour scheme

It is the BIA that actually beautifies the core shopping area of Barry’s Bay with 32 hanging flower baskets and 18 large flowering containers.  The BIA has chosen eye popping colours this year to promote our area – hot pink, sunshine yellow, lime green and bright blue/mauve – for those happy gardeners interested in keeping the same colour theme throughout your landscape.


Colours for 2018: hot pink, sunshine yellow, lime green and bright blue/mauve

Photos (L-R):  Cosmos (Dinkum), Rudbeckia (Ronald J. Scott), Ipomea (Yercaud Elango), Morning Glories (Renjishino1)

CiB is a large endeavour – it promotes community involvement, it gives us pride in our history and the natural beauty of our Township. CiB highlights our area to the rest of Canada through destination marketing and thereby enhances economic development through tourism. CiB Co-Chair Faith Archer says,

It’s important that everyone in our community understands economic development, including elected officials, local business, and travel stakeholders. Our entire community is the true travel stakeholder! How many of you have friends or family who rent cottages, who own restaurants and local businesses that depend on peak business for jobs and business between May and October that sustains them each and every year? Tourism is an economic driver that protects healthy growth in our community. Even government grants for roads are influenced by how much traffic the road supports. Our peak seasons with tourist traffic increases the number of vehicles that travel our country roads and helps to justify roads improvement. We all have a vested interest in Tourism — broadening our tax base will help to reduce everyone’s taxes and allow the Township to serve you more effectively. “Together, We’re Bloomin’ Good!” We plan to show the judges and the country that if you visit our community you will be tempted to stay for a lifetime. Who knows, maybe we can be invited to compete in the next stage – internationally!

To enter CiB, we first have to start off at the provincial level, participating with communities in our province. Once we achieve 5 blooms and a minimum mark of 82% in the categories of Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays, we can then progress to the National level, where we are up against hundreds of communities nationwide.  In 2016 we achieved an award of 4 blooms with special mention to the Wilno Polish Kashub Heritage Park, and in 2017 we achieved our 5 blooms award with special mention to the community for collaboration after the 2017 flooding.

For the national competition, you actually have to be invited to participate by CiB and we are excited to report that we are competing nationally this year.  This puts the spotlight on our township nationally – there are people from across North America and internationally who travel specifically to CiB areas.

We have so much to offer – the beautiful countryside, the many lakes and rivers, friendly people, talented artisans, great shopping, heritage sites,  just to name a few.

says Co-Chair Debbie Marshall.

Our local CiB has contests specifically geared to our residents.  The contests have not yet been finalized for this year –more will be forthcoming on that topic.

Our current committee consists of representatives from:

  • Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society
  • Madawaska Valley Lions Club
  • Madawaska Valley Public Library
  • Royal Canadian Legion – Barry’s Bay Branch #406
  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital
  • The Greening Committee
  • Valley Manor
  • Water Tower Lodge
  • Zurakowski Park

We welcome anyone to be on our committee – residents included. The next meeting for our local CiB committee will be on May 10, 2018, at 3:00 at our township office. If you are interested in being a committee member or even a judge for our local contests, please contact Debbie Marshall at 613-756-2667 ( or Elser Lee Faith Archer at 613-756-9945 (  Co-Chairs – Communities in Bloom, Township of Madawaska Valley.

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