Communities in Bloom
5 Bloom Bronze
Brooks Communities in Bloom committee was formed by a small group of enthusiastic people in 2001. From the beginning they have enjoyed full co-operation and participation from Recreation and Parks of the City of Brooks.
Their objective has always, and continues to be, the beautification of our community as well as the improvement of the quality of life for all the citizens of Brooks. We have entered the Provincial Communities in Bloom contest in Brooks' population category. They have stressed at Board levels that beautification was their goal, not winning. Nevertheless, they have been awarded top points each year culminating in a 5-Bloom Award in 2005. This year they have courageously chosen to compete at the National level at the encouragement of the judges.
The Communities in Bloom group has chosen the "Petunia" as their symbolic flower as much for it's showiness as for it's durability in our dry and windy climate. This flower is presented in their logo. In 2005, our Centennial year the Morden Centennial Rose was also adopted and over 300 roses planted in and around Brooks, as a legacy for our centennial.
Communities in Bloom also looks after the Historic Buildings in the City of Brooks. Many buildings have been marked as Historical Landmarks. To visit and view a walking tour of historic buildings (PDF) Winner for 2015.
Read more information on the heritage trees (PDF) in the City of Brooks.
Communities in Bloom Projects
Past projects have included a wide variety of themes. Communities in Bloom's first project in 2001 was the raised flower beds located in various locations around the City.
In 2002 they instigated the successful Banner Program, whereby local businesses purchased double banners that were hung by the City Crews on 2 main streets, and also began naming historic sites and installing plaques on these buildings.
Dumpster Painting Program
In the end of 2003 and for 2004 the Dumpster Painting Program was initiated. Many groups such as the Rotary Club, Credit Union Staff, and the Cassilope Ladies Club painted the base color and groups like the Alliance Church Youth Group decorated the dumpsters. Beautification awards were also handed out this year to 10 residents to their personal addition to Communities in Bloom. Water Conservation was also the theme for 2004 as Grade 4 students had the task to use only 2 liters of water to brush teeth, wash themselves, and find a use for the "gray water". And the United Church Women's Fellowship created and maintains the flowerbed by StarTech.
Communities in Bloom, has also been involved with various projects in the City of Brooks to promote the beautification of our area. Last year they focused on the Marshall Drain Project. Birds in this area are identified and signs installed naming them and their habits. Park benches and trees will be at rest areas along the shaded path and a gazebo-type structure will be built. They are also selling "adopt-a-barrel" program to downtown merchants. They delivered the fully planted half-barrels to put outside their store to help beautify downtown.
Competing At The National Level
The added incentive of competing at the National Level has spurred the Communities in Bloom committee to double their efforts. To this extent, adopting the "Tidiness" theme, a Pitch-In week was organized May 1 through 5. More then 30 Area Coordinators have been identified to assist in encouraging the citizens of Brooks to tidy our City. They were brought together for a Wine and Cheese affair at the end of April.
Plans have been made for the beautification of the vacant property across from the Brooks Bulletin as well as the former Beaver Lumber property. Several church groups have volunteered to adopt the abandoned properties.
Are you looking for a fun, quick way to make a difference in the community? Maybe you need school community hours or you're looking to organize a team building event at work? Why not volunteer to clean up litter in a park, neighbourhood or roadway?
Every July, Communities in Bloom organizes the Communities in Bloom Community Cleanup. Everyone is encouraged to participate by registering a team! Teams will be designated specific sites throughout the community to clean up. Bags and cleanup sites will be provided, as well as gloves, or participants can bring their own.
Music in the Park and Garden Angels
"Music in the Park" is again being co-sponsored in an effort to improve the quality of life in Brooks. A new initiative "Garden Angels" is being used to identify those who help in tidying our City. A Brooks Garden Tour is being organized to recognize special yards.
Finally, several citizens of Brooks have indicated an interest in upgrading and expanding pathways.
The Commemorative Forest is a permanent forest preserve located on the west side of Lake Stafford. This land has been set aside in perpetuity as a sanctuary. A yearly dedication ceremony is held to plant commemorative trees that recognize special events, people or passings. For a minimum donation of $150, 1 tree is planted in honour of the occasion and a frame-able personal certificate dedicating your tree will be issued. For more information, call 403-362-5184 or email Brooks Forest. To apply to plant a tree, complete the Commemorative Forest Form (PDF). The dedication ceremony is every September.
Communities in Bloom has planted a maintained lots plots of heritage roses at the Brooks & District Museum. The roses are Prairie Hardy Shrub Roses, developed for the area by the Crop Diversification Centre. Many of the species are named after the explorers of the area.
Me-We-Three Things To Do For Brooks
Communities in Bloom would like to get residents thinking about things that would make Brooks a better place to live. What issues are important to you and what can be done to make things better? Think about three things that you can do to make Brooks a better place in which to live. Ask yourself, "What am I good at? What do I care about?"
Next do those three things, or more. For your street for example, say hello when you meet your neighbors, open a door for someone, take cookies to a family with a sick member or hold a front yard BBQ. What can I do for my neighborhood? Organize a monthly clean-up day, weed a yard of an elderly person, hold a block party. What can I do for my city? Volunteer for a not for profit organization, donated used articles to the Salvation Army, weed a flower bed in support of the Food Bank. Whether your three things are large or small, every action you take to make Brooks better makes a difference.
Finally, and this is most important, encourage three or more people to do the same. You might already do so much for your community, but others might not be living up to their potential. It's up to all of us to get all of the citizens of Brooks to take action to make Brooks an even better city. Share your three things with all of us. Your action can be inspiration for others to do their three things. Post your three things to Facebook or Twitter and tag the City of Brooks. You can also post them to the City of Brooks' Facebook page. If we all did three things that would be 3 multiplied by 13,000, which equals 39,000 things to make Brooks better. WOW!