There is a mix of nervous apprehension and excitement across the province, as the judging committee with the provincial Communities in Bloom program makes its rounds.
The judges made their first stop July 13 and will make their final stop August 15. Provincial coordinator Andrew Exelby said the judges always receive a warm welcome.
"All of our participants are really looking forward to that evaluation, and our judges come in with lots of great ideas and suggestions," he said.
This is the 21st year for the Communities in Bloom program in Saskatchewan, which is based on a program in Britain that is over 60 years old. Community appearance such as flower beds and landscaping of course are one part in the evaluation process but Exelby said there is much more to it such as heritage conservation and environmental action.
"It comes right down whether there are energy efficient lighting options being used in street lights and municipal facilities or are there recycling programs in town," he said.
Results will be made available in late September. The evaluated communities all receive a 20-page report which includes what they are doing well as well as what areas they can improve on.
The judges made their way through Melfort earlier this week, last year's winner in the 5,000 plus population category. Community Services Director Ryan Danberg said the competition does a great job showcasing the city.
"When the judges come to town, I would say our city has never looked better," he said.
Danberg said the city's success would not be possible without the numerous volunteers who help give the city a makeover and tend to the areas that need improvement.
"I know it was appreciated by a lot of our citizens here in Melfort, numerous comments into city hall about how well kept the parks were," he said.
Danberg said they entered the competition this year with some new features including installing a water fountain at one of the city's parks and adding some new landscaping features ans signage at the entryways into the city.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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