For the second year in a row the Town of Amherst has received a 4-bloom rating from Communities in Bloom.
The town also received a special mention for developing positive partnerships between itself and other community groups from the Canadian non-profit organization that is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the enhancement of green spaces.
The organization held its 2019 National-International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies, in Yarmouth on Sept. 28, 2019. During the event they honoured municipalities from across Canada, the United States of America, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and the United Kingdom that helped green their communities and made them better places to live, work and visit.
Community in Bloom judges were in Amherst in late July. During their stay, they evaluated the overall contributions of municipal council and town departments, industry, business and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in the areas of: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays.
Following their evaluation, judges Lorna McIlroy of Grande Prairie, Alta., and Andrea Bocsi of Dunaujvaros, Fejer, Hungary, wrote: “The historic Town of Amherst has an unmistakable air of optimism and growth that emanates through town hall and (the) administration, the industrial and business sectors, the churches and museum, and particularly from the residents who take pride in their community and volunteer for multiple organizations.
“In the late 19th century, Amherst was one of the most prosperous and industrial towns in Canada. Today, as then, they had ‘faith in our people, pride in our products.’
“Amherst is the gateway to Nova Scotia and so much more. It is becoming a great place to visit and a great place to live. As they say in Amherst, ‘See why we love it.’”
Amherst Mayor David Kogon welcomed the news.
“Among council’s strategic priorities are community well-being and environmental stewardship,” Kogon said. “This recognition from Communities in Bloom shows we are making positive strides toward meeting both of those priorities.
“It recognizes our efforts to improve the aesthetics of our parks and enhance our green spaces. Improving these areas goes a long way to help us be good stewards of the environment. Making them places our citizens wish to congregate encourages a healthy, active community, which in turn enhances the well-being of our citizens.”
The mayor credited the town’s horticulturalist Chelsea Baird for much of the town’s success.
“Chelsea and her team do a fantastic job ensuring our downtown, our parks and our green spaces are not only pleasant to look at, but are functional and well maintained,” Kogon said. “They are also working hard to ensure our urban forest remains healthy.”
The town couldn’t have achieved the 4-bloom rating without the work of the local Community In Bloom committee, local businesses and citizens “who have come together to ensure the town is always putting its best foot forward,” the mayor said.
“It is these positive partnerships that see people working together that truly makes Amherst and great place to live, work and play.”