Sooke is more than it appears to be

Communities in Bloom committee resurfaces in Sooke

Sooke's own flower

Sooke's own flower

Sooke is not what it appears to be and there are many undiscovered secrets all over town. Did you know about some of the beautification efforts that have taken place over the last six years? Did you know that Sooke has its own flower?

As a member of the Communities in Bloom (CIB) program, Sooke has undertaken a number of projects that have helped the district achieve five blooms in the yearly competition among participating towns and cities.

Hydro boxes have been covered with photographs; flowline sections were turned into planters, sculptures placed on Murray Road and at the municipal hall, Sunriver Allotment gardens was aided, Ed Macgregor Park upgraded, wooden benches and bike racks placed around town, the boardwalk sprouted signage and businesses in Sooke beautified their surroundings.

“It’s not just about flowers,” said Brenda Parkinson, chair of CIB. “It’s about the tidiness of the community and environmental initiatives,”

She used the example of Journey middle school students cleaning up Ayum Creek.

Parkinson said it is also about heritage and the history of Sooke. An example of this are the two metal sculptures depicting a mariner and a flow line worker.

Residents also got involved by maintaining the boulevards in front of their homes and showcasing their green thumbs.

The Communities in Bloom committee took a year off in 2012 and to retain their status as a five-bloom community, members of Mayor’s Arts & Beautification Committee agreed to get involved this year.

Sooke started out achieving no blooms in 2008 and steadily gaining more blooms as the years went by up to five blooms in 2011.

“You can take one year off and if you didn’t participate again you would have to start over,” said Parkinson. “People felt it was something good for Sooke and something everyone can be involved in.”

Sooke’s own flower is the Monkey flower, Mimulus sookensis. Mimulus are called monkey-flowers because some species have flowers shaped like a monkey’s face.

To get involved local businesses can help by participating in the Business Beautification Contest. Enter your business in the District of Sooke Beautification Contest by completing the nomination form available at: www.sooke.ca and submitting it to the district.

Show your support by adding a planter, flower basket or by cleaning the boulevard in front of your place of business. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money.

Judging will take place on July 19 and businesses will be recognized for their participation in Communities in Bloom.

There is an added bonus in that the beautification will be good for tourism and the businesses alike. The judges will be in Sooke from July 18 to 20.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

One of the last remaining street payphones in Kelowna. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News)
Last call approaches for payphones?

Mobile phones diminishing need

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

Colwood-based writer Esi Edugyan will speak about the deep research she did before writing <em>Washington Black</em>, her third novel. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood author Esi Edugyan giving talk May 6 about her research and writing process

Event is part of Royal Road’s Changemaker series celebrating its 25th anniversary

This sign, visible from Highway 17 and suggesting dissatisfaction with the public health measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, disappeared from this location after having stood on a private North Saanich property for several days. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sign in North Saanich warning of police state gone

The sign stood for several days on a private property and was visible from Highway 17

Harmony Project Sooke students recently performed at the B.C. legislature. Harmony Project Sooke runs a stings program for viola, violin, and cello for students in Grade 2 and up and a drum line program for grades six and up. (Contributed – Harmony Project Sooke)
Gift and program support young Sooke musicians

Harmony Project Sooke students shine

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members, before descending into a gorge near Nile Creek to rescue an injured woman on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (ASAR Twitter photo)
SAR crews help rescue hiker who plunged 10 metres onto rocks near Qualicum

Helicopter with winch system required for technical operation in remote location

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read