Communities in Bloom judges visit Parrsboro

Andrew Wagstaff
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Communities in Bloom judges Kirsten and Tom Connor visited Parrsboro this week to evaluate the town's progress in the national community beautification program.

PARRSBORO – The judges have been here, and early reviews are rave.

Kirsten and Tom Connor of Charlottetown spent two days in Parrsboro on Aug. 14-15, visiting with the local Communities in Bloom team, touring the community and evaluating its progress in the national beautification program.

“The natural setting sets it all off, it’s beautiful,” said Mrs. Connor. “It’s wonderful to see the trees, the woods, the hills, the tide… everything is beautiful. It’s a real gem of a place.”

The judges arrived in town on Wednesday afternoon, and took their own tour around the area, before meeting any of the local representatives.

Several of the community’s unique features made an impression on them, according to Mrs. Connor, from the antique gas pumps on display at Sargent’s garage, to the wrought-iron sculptures by Doris Soley that have decorated the town this summer, and the FORCE tidal power interpretive centre in West Bay.

“We also couldn’t help but notice the colour co-ordination of the maroon and the off-white on the benches and around the electrical posts,” she said. “We’ve never seen it anywhere else and it’s just so striking.”

The judges will evaluate Parrsboro on six basic criteria points – tidiness, environmental management, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. Community involvement, previously included in that list, is now a key consideration that is part of all others.

“It runs through everything and really is a key feature of the program, getting businesses, and youth groups, and everybody involved,” said Mr. Connor.

The judges will complete their evaluation forms and submit them to the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, which will then pass it along to the national Communities in Bloom organization.

After meeting the local Communities in Bloom volunteers for breakfast on Thursday morning, the judges were to be taken on another tour of the community.

“We’ve had a nice tour around on our own, and now we will be shown the details,” he said. “So we’re looking forward to that part of the tour. It’s a nice little town, and we’re impressed with it.”

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Bloom organization

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Charlottetown, West Bay

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