The Town of Millet’s motto is Pride of the County, and once again the picturesque community is participating the Communities in Bloom contest.
On July 26 the 2017 National Edition of Communities in Bloom judges Evelyn Alemanni from Elfin Forest, California and Jim Baird from Rothesay, New Brunswick were given a full-day tour of the town as they evaluated the community under a number of criteria.
Alemanni says on the checklist the judges use are a number of categories, including horticulture, landscape and groundcover, urban forestry and floral displays, heritage, environmental efforts, tidiness and community involvement.
“We’re looking at municipal properties, residential properties and commercial,” said Alemanni.
“It’s the whole package. It’s everything that makes a town great,” she added.
Town staff, town councillor and Millet in Bloom chair Carol Sadoroszney, Alemanni and Baird started their tour at the flower beds located just outside the town office; where the judges paid interest to the new rain barrels as well as the CP railway tracks heading through town.
This gave Sadoroszney a chance to talk about the CP Holiday Train, which stopped in Millet during it’s 2016 tour.
The judges also spent a portion of their morning at the town’s public works shop and the Millet Community Cemetery.
“It’s a beautiful little town,” said Alemanni.
Last year Millet received the Outstanding Achievement Award in floral displays. “That means you’re the best in the world,” said Alemanni, referring to the program’s national and international status.
“Winning awards for our population category is always a thrilling experience and a huge boost to the Town showing pride in our community and bringing very favorable exposure of Millet provincially, nationally and internationally,” said Sadoroszney.
Alemanni says one of the great attributes of the positive program is how it brings people and sectors together that may otherwise not collaborate.
She also commended Millet for its volunteerism and collaboration to the Millet in Bloom program.
Baird feels rather than people coming together as a result of the program itself, Communities in Bloom provides a supportive framework for those already with a drive and passion for beautification and the other criteria covered by the program. “It isn’t the program that get people involved, people want to do this.”
Millet in Bloom hosted its 22nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Local Competition Awards July 25, which the Communities in Bloom judges attended.
Baird says he was able to see the commitment Millet has to the program from that event. “The level of volunteerism and commitment to the community by the residents is over the top.”
“The spirit of the community shows by the involvement in the program of the businesses, organizations, residents as well as the Municipality and the Millet in Bloom volunteers,” said Sadoroszney.
“For the Millet in Bloom volunteers, one of the most memorable highlights was the 2011 Hailstorm. With just over a week before the arrival of the national judges everything was gone in a matter of minutes. It was absolutely awesome how the community rallied to help clean up the mess and the generosity of our neighboring communities and greenhouses jumping in to assist with replacement plants and words of encouragement,” she added.
Millet has participated in Communities in Bloom since the program’s inception in 1996. The town has competed internationally with Audley, England in 2000, and Waringstown, Northern Ireland in 2002. In 2005, Millet decided to compete at the provincial level as it was Alberta’s Centennial and Millet’s 10th year as a participant in the Communities in Bloom Program. In 2006 Millet began once again to compete at the National Level.
This year Millet is in the Class of Champions (Medium) category, along with Castlegar BC, Trail BC and Vermilion AB.
The national and international results will be announced in Ottawa/Gatineau, National Capital Region from September 13 to 16, 2017, during the Symposium and Awards Ceremonies with the theme of “Communities and Green Spaces …Celebrating Canada’s 150 Anniversary”.
1996 Provincial – Maintenance of Turf Areas
1997 PROVINCIAL WINNER
1998 National – Floral Displays
1999 National – Landscaped Areas
2000 International – Integration of Historical Artifacts &Landscaping
2001 NATIONAL WINNER – Museum Project
2002 International – Hwy 2A Park
2003 International – Pipestone Creek Park
2004 National – Dedication to One’s Community
2005 Provincial – Community Involvement
2006 PROVINCIAL WINNER – Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation
2007 NATIONAL WINNER – Heritage Conservation throughout Millet
2008 National – Heritage Murals
Heritage Conservation Criteria Award
2009 National – Museum Archives
2010 National – Floral Displays on Main Street
2011 National – Hail Storm Cleanup
Joint Winner Community Display
2012 National – Volunteer Recognition by Town &Businesses
2013 National – Salute to the Troops
2014 National – Pipestone Park Enhancement Project
Special Achievement Winner – Heritage Conservation
2015 National – Millet in Bloom 20th Anniversary Project
5 Blooms – Bronze
2016 National – Volunteerism and Community Partnerships
5 Blooms – Bronze
Special Achievement Award – Best Floral Displays