April 15, 2008
Denis Flanagan CLD
Manager, membership services

Denis FlanaganDuring this year’s Canada Blooms, Landscape Ontario and Communities in Bloom (CiB) partnered to create an eye-catching display to help promote the CiB program.

Bruce Warren and Beth Edney did an outstanding job overseeing the installation. They miraculously worked out a method to maneuver four skids of sod (fresh from Virginia) and 30 six-to-eight-foot cut evergreens (courtesy of Somerville Nurseries) up the elevators of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The purpose was to form the mini-sports green that tied the CiB booth area together. Our labour for the installation was provided by Richmond Hill High School students (thanks to Charlie Dobbin) who earned their community volunteer credits. The green space was highlighted with some beautifully crafted signposts and benches from Trystan Furnishing.

Lee Rozon, executive director for CiB Ontario, invited five communities to set-up displays to demonstrate how diverse the program has become. We had representatives from Pickering, Carleton Place, Gravenhurst, Dryden and Westport, Ireland (who worked with the Irish Tourism Board, one of the sponsors of the display).

A great time was had by all, as the public had the opportunity to learn more about the various communities and learn first-hand about the benefits each municipality has discovered from its involvement in the CiB program.

To complete our “family,” members from Ontario Master Gardeners and the Ontario Horticultural Association were on-site all week to give seminars and advice to the public.

On Sunday evening the display was dismantled with the help of graduate art history students from York University.

It was a wonderful team that made this whole project happen. I hope on the Monday they had time to have a little time off to relax and celebrate “green” yet again, but this time at a St. Patrick’s Day venue.

The whole event was a reflection on the spirit of what Communities in Bloom is all about: volunteers, professionals, hobbyists, municipalities and sponsors all having fun and working together for a common cause — people, plants and pride.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com.

Caption: Volunteers staffing the community booth added the essential personal touch.