Sooke is blooming – and grinning from ear to ear.
Sooke has again been awarded the highest honour in the B.C. Communities in Bloom program.
“I am ecstatic that Sooke has received Five Blooms once again. This year’s committee worked extremely hard to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of our community and it was wonderful to have staff and volunteers working hand in hand,” said Sooke Coun. Brenda Parkinson, who chairs the Sooke Program of the Arts Committee and spearheads the Communities in Bloom initiative.
While the program’s name seems to imply that the award is rooted in an evaluation of gardens and flowers, Catherine Kennedy, the executive director of Communities in Bloom, explained the program is far more expansive.
“It can be upsetting for volunteers when they are painted with a simplistic and dismissive brush. It’s not just about flowers; it’s about the health of the community,” she said.
“Our slogan is People, Plants, and Pride–Growing Together and the program is about making the community the best it can be.”
Two independent judges toured Sooke from July 16 to 18, evaluating the community on a series of criteria that included tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, and floral displays.
In recognizing Sooke, the program judges highlighted the work at Fred Milne Park and the Sunriver Community Gardens as examples of what can be accomplished when the whole community works together.
“It is always a pleasure to identify and celebrate the many ways our residents, businesses and community organizations come together to make Sooke a place we are proud to call home,” Mayor Maja Tait said.