The City of Estevan is looking to instil some community pride an clean up the city this year as they are once again participating in Communities in Bloom. 

"What this is called is 'Evaluated Friends,'" shared Shannon Wanner, Parks Foreperson and head of Communities in Bloom in Estevan. "Last year we were in 'Freinds.' The difference between the two of them is we actually have judges that come down and look at our city and give us pointers on how we can make it more beautiful."

"'Friends' is just, we get the recognition that we belong to Communities in Bloom. 'Evaluated Friends' we actually get judges to come down and spend the day with us and talk to us."

"The main thing for this year is just to make sure that their yards are neat and tidy because we're going to be driving around and looking at different places. If they can have weeds picked in their front yard, grass mowed, and that kind of stuff, that's going to help a lot."

There are six criteria on which cities are scored.

Tidiness:
"Making sure our lawns are cut, our boulevards look good, our sidewalks look good. There's no garbage laying around, dog droppings are picked up in our parks."

Environmental Awareness:
"That's sustainable development policies and bylaws, waste reduction and landfill sites. They want to make sure that we're trying to improve the environment."

Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation:
"We're trying to promote a little of our history."

Tree and Urban Forestry Management:
"How we're looking after all of our trees. Are we planting new trees? Are we pruning the trees we have? Do we have policies in place? 

Landscape:
"Just making sure that we do landscape. That we don't just stick something in and leave it be."

Floral Display:
"I think it's what everyone thinks Communities in Bloom is all about and it's a smaller part of what it is. They're going to be looking at our grounds, not just the flowers."

Each of the criteria is worth a certain amount of points up to 1,000 points. 

"It helps me out," mentioned Rod March, Estevan's Parks Manager, "in how we're doing in the community from a non-biased perspective. It also opens it up for more types of grants that we can apply for through that program."

Wanner added that she plans on keeping this program going for the long-term.

"This isn't going to be one year and then the City's not going to do it anymore. We want to keep improving."


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