Now that North Bay has blossomed at the Communities in Bloom competition, it’s time to grow the city to the next stage, says Wanda Wallace, co-chairman of the local Communities in Bloom committee.
North Bay recently earned a spot among the national finalists in the 50,000 to 100,000 population size category, at the 2003 competition held in Stratford, Ont.
But Wallace says there are things that can be done to improve North Bay’s chances for greater success if it enters the beautification program next year.
One of the things she’d like to see is students getting involved in the process “to fire them up about Communities in Bloom.”
Wallace, who works for the Near North District School Board, says she’s already talked to a superintendent there about a “schools in bloom” program.
The committee is also encouraging the municipality to consider purchasing signage which would welcome tourists to North Bay.
“I know budgets keep getting cut, but with Paul Martin’s plan to give more money back to cities, we’re certainly hopeful this would help provide those needed dollars,” Wallace said.
She’d also like to see institutions other than small businesses in North Bay become involved in Communities in Bloom.
Wallace says North Bay can also learn from the successes of other top finishers in the competiton.
“We had someone go around at the ceremonies and gather some portfolios from other cities which contain lots of pictures, so we will be able to pick up many new ideas,” Wallace said.
“As well we are going to reexamine the eight different judging categories in the competition, spend some time on that and invite experts to help us vision where we’d like to go.”