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Amherst gets high marks for beautification from Communities In Bloom

Summer students Jill Lockhart and Hayley Spicer prepare a flower bed in Victoria Square for planting. Amherst’s beautification efforts have been recognized by Communities in Bloom organization with the town getting four blooms as a ‘very attractive’ town. - Tom McCoag/Town of Amherst
Summer students Jill Lockhart and Hayley Spicer prepare a flower bed in Victoria Square for planting. Amherst’s beautification efforts have been recognized by Communities in Bloom organization with the town getting four blooms as a ‘very attractive’ town. - Tom McCoag/Town of Amherst - Contributed

AMHERST – Amherst is a “very attractive town,” Communities in Bloom judge Judith Cabrita said in a recently released report containing the results of her inspection of the town.

“As the first urban area for visitor vehicular traffic, and as one of only two land entrances (to the province), it represents Nova Scotia well and is a great entranceway and introduction to the province.”

Cabrita inspected the town on Sept. 13 for tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. She gave the town “four blooms” for achieving an average mark of 75.2 per cent in those areas.

It’s been several years since the town has undergone an inspection by Communities in Bloom and it was first inspection since a new, revitalized local Communities in Bloom committee was established earlier this year.

The judge described the town as a “walkable, bikeable community with an excellent ‘Share the Road’ program clearly delivering the message that safety is a collective responsibility.”

She further noted the town has a considerable amount of green space “and the improving condition of the parks and the planned enhancement is the result of having a dedicated horticulturist.”

“Pride of place was notable and apparent in everyone met during the day’s visits and activities,” Cabrita said, adding the town has “an exceptionally appealing town centre and public areas.”

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Recreation director Bill Schurman said receiving such positive feedback from the judge was encouraging considering the steps the town has taken to improve the quality of its green areas and parks. He attributed the success to Chelsea Baird, the town’s horticulturist and maintenance staff, as well as the revitalized, 10-member local Communities in Bloom committee, which Baird chaired this year.

“They have done a remarkable job enhancing our parks and green areas,” Schurman said. “Getting four blooms is an outstanding accomplishment and it encourages us to continue to make improvements that enhance the beautification of our town.”

In her report, Cabrita also noted the town’s “strong commitment toward environmental action is to be commended. The involvement of schools and citizens in Earth Day events is impressive.”

She also praised the local heritage committee for working hard to enhance the recognition of the town’s strong cultural and built heritage. As examples, she pointed to the evening walking and horse-drawn carriage heritage tours that were implemented this past summer, saying they were “an excellent means to showcase Amherst.”

Cabrita also applauded the town’s commitment to urban forestry, ensuring a “cared-for environment, particularly in the centre core area of town and for the floral displays around town.

To read the report go to amherst.ca/recreation-department.html.

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