Gull Lake CiB members Sara Kuntz, Bev Potter, Ed Lowenberger and Blake Campbell showed judges Donna and Larry Hall around the community last Thursday.
Photo by Aaron L. Pope
By Aaron L. Pope
Judges from Communities in Bloom made their way to Gull lake on Thursday to have a first-hand look at everything the town has to offer as part of the their annual beautification competition.
The Communities in Bloom competition started out in Ireland and as it grew in popularity. It has spread to Canada and is now widely recognized as a leader in community improvement and citizen involvement.
This is the third year Gull Lake has taken part in the competition. There are two other communities in the same category; Ituna has won the past two years and the community of Eastend.
The judges, Larry Hall and Donna Hall very graciously gave the Advance an interview before they had even finished their final report on Gull Lake.
There are a number of different categories the judges consider when doing their assessments, such as: the overall tidiness of the town, environmental action, landscaping, heritage conservation, urban forest, and last, but not least; floral displays.
“There was a number of things I was impressed with,” said Larry Hall. “One of the things I really did like was the reuse of buildings, like the fact that your senior center was a telephone office at one time. That’s really important in terms of heritage conservation and not just conserving it as a museum but actually having it as a multi-use site; you’re not just destroying it.”
Donna Hall said she was very impressed by the tidiness of the town and made special mention of how well kept everyone’s lawn was.
“The ball diamond area is one of the best we’ve seen,” said Larry. “I’ve seen communities that have over a thousand [residents] and their ball diamonds are nowhere near as nice as [Gull Lake’s], your bleachers are in good shape, I’ve seen bleachers that are asking for a lawsuit by having them there, someone’s going to sit on them and get a sliver or fall through, and what you’ve got here are in really good shape.”
“Over the last year I’ve seen people start to step up, understand more about what it is we’re trying to do and that message is translating into a little bit more community pride,” said Mayor Campbell. “I was very impressed by the people this year for their yards; overall I’d say this was the best year for yards.
“Having people taking pride in their yards creates a huge ripple effect,” said Ed Lowenberger, one of the committee members.
Mayor Campbell said he’s very impressed watching the community improve over the past three years that Gull Lake has been participating in the CIB project. Campbell added he thought the committee volunteers have really done a great job on all the improvements to the town.
The Communities in Bloom is a national competition which is sponsored by Home Hardware and Scotts Canada among others.
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