By Marcia Love
Maple Creek has done it again! For the second year in a row, the town has achieved five out of five blooms in the Communities in Bloom (CiB) provincial competition.
It was announced last week Maple Creek was the winner of the provincial population category of 2,001-3,000. The town was competing against Outlook in the same population category in Saskatchewan.
Local CiB volunteers are thrilled by the news.
“We’re really excited,” said Ellaine Hawrylak, a member of the Maple Creek CiB Committee. “I know that the Communities in Bloom people worked really hard, and I know lots of people worked really hard in their yards.”
She noted the parks crew did a great job of keeping the flower baskets downtown blooming, and volunteers from Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge helped out as well.
Hawrylak said the co-operation of everyone in town contributed to the win.
“There was many more yards that were cleaned up and looking really nice,” she explained. “There was more participation in the whole community.”
The landfill is also a lot tidier, and the cemetery is looking much nicer as well, she added.
“Everything was well looked after this year that the overall picture of everything was really good,” Hawrylak said, noting the flower barrels and decorated businesses made the downtown look sharp. “I think when the tourists cross the tracks and drive down Pacific Avenue, you can’t be anything but impressed with the way it looked this year.”
More work completed through the Maple Creek Main Street Program — including the facade restoration work done to the BC Cafe, the Daily Grind, Simple Pleasures Country Comforts & Crafts, and Broken Spoke Fine Art Gallery — made the Heritage District look even better this year, the volunteer said.
Judges were in town on Aug. 13 to take it all in. According to Andrew Exelby, Saskatchewan’s CiB co-ordinator and parks and open spaces consultant for Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, Maple Creek’s heritage and culture was once again a big hit with the judges. It earned the town a special mention.
“They really were impressed by the community’s effort to showcase their heritage, because a lot of communities don’t have that level of commitment to their heritage,” Exelby said.
He reported judges loved the sign corridor on the Trans-Canada Highway, which leads travellers into the community. They even enjoyed the smaller things like the cowboy crossing signs at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Jasper Street.
The amount of effort being put into restoring the Oldtimers’ log museum was also commended, and judges were surprised to see how many pocket parks were in the community, Exelby said.
But judges noted that at the end of the day, it’s the community’s enthusiasm and civic pride that forms a lasting impression.
This is the seventh year Maple Creek has been involved in CiB. It was the winner of its population category last year as well, earning five blooms.
The community will receive its award during the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Awards Gala in Yorkton on Oct. 23. More details on what contributed to Maple Creek’s win will be revealed then.
The committee appreciates everyone’s efforts to make Maple Creek look its best.
Maple Creek CiB 2016 calendars are now on sale. The calendar features the winning photos from the committee’s first photo contest, which received about 120 entries. Copies are available for $15 at Lansdall Pharmacy, Pharmasave, Kelli Dee Floral, the Daily Grind, Hair Barn, Home Hardware and the visitor’s centre. All proceeds will go toward streetscape beautification and other CiB projects.