The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) has been crowned the winner of the Communities in Bloom (CiB) International Challenge in the Medium/Large category.
CiB describes itself as a volunteer and partnership-driven organization that uses a multi-tiered competitive evaluation process to foster community strength, involvement, and continuous improvement.
Trained volunteer judges Bob Ivison and Tina Liu traveled throughout the municipality in mid-August evaluating the region on:
- Community appearance
- Environmental actions
- Heritage conservation
- Tree management
- Landscape areas
- Plant and floral displays
CiB rates communities using a “bloom” rating to determine the total score of an evaluation:
- 0-55 % = 1 Bloom
- 56-63 % = 2 Blooms
- 64-72 % = 3 Blooms
- 73-81 % = 4 Blooms
- 82 % and over = 5 Blooms
Another four-level rating is used exclusively for the National and International Edition:
- 82-83.9 % = 5 Blooms
- 84-86.9 % = Bronze
- 87-89.9 % = Silver
- 90 % and over = Gold
On Saturday in Victoria, British Columbia, the municipality received a rating of 5 Blooms – Silver and a special mention for Cultural and Natural Heritage- Indigenous Community Involvement during the 2022 National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies.
The RMWB was competing against Leduc AB; Stratford ON; Alba Italy; and Oudenaarde Belgium.
Wood Buffalo also received two Outstanding Achievement Awards, one for the CiB Heritage Conservation and the other for the National Capital Commission Plant & Floral Displays Award.
Volunteer judges Ivison and Liu wrote about the RMWB following their evaluation.
“The First Nations play an essential role in the history of Wood Buffalo. The RMWB has demonstrated a prime example of a positive Truth and Reconciliation process with the Indigenous communities in the region. The evidence of respectful relationships between all members of the municipality including Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal, immigrants, and other community groups are present everywhere. Indigenous representation in the City Council exhibits joint leadership and collaboration of Indigenous culture are the way of life in RMWB.”
“Indigenous heritage is preserved and promoted through public infrastructures, such as crosswalks, murals, and artworks in public facilities, schools, businesses, and green spaces. Multilingual signages in Cree, Dene, and English are used in RMWB. The many events hosted by different Indigenous communities are well supported and advertised by the municipality and service groups with substantial participation of local government representatives. Indigenous traditions are illustrated via these events and story-telling opportunities to involve other community members.”
For more information about the organization or complete list of the results, visit www.communitiesinbloom.ca.