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Swan River Recognized for achievement

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Results are in for the 2017 Communities in Bloom (CIB), and Swan River has received five blooms for the second year in a row. This year, improving beyond that to five blooms at the bronze level and a special mention of ‘Educational Programs Build Local Workforce Capacity’.
“During the tour, we took the judges into the new labs and around the (high) school,” said local CIB committee member Phyl Friesen. “They were really impressed.”
“We have a very busy (evaluation) day and we try to get them to see as much as they can.”
With this year being Canada’s 150th, the Town of Swan River was also awarded four leaves in the Maple Leaf rating, handed out to communities for their Canadian spirit.
“We just said (to the community) plant red and white, folks,” Friesen joked.
“We put up flags with the 150 (symbols) on them and built pallets with the flag on them to place in the flower beds. Unfortunately, one of them was vandalized and I was so angry I made two more.”
CIB judges, High Skinner and Cathy Shaluk, toured the town last month, noting our strengths and weaknesses in the different categorizes of: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, and floral displays.
“Swan River is a very beautiful and tidy town,” said one of the judges comments in the official evaluation sheets.
“Swan River has made outstanding strides to make their community very pleasing and attractive to residents and visitors.”
Other judges comments praise the Harley House, Swan Valley Historical Museum, educational facilities, Legion Park, tree nursery, Arboretum, as well as the 16 parks and four green spaces.
Friesen elaborated on the improvements done in order to surpass last year’s success.
“The landfill is improving every year,” she said.
“They have a wonderful dedication to keeping everything moving. It’s a great site. The landlords do such a good job out there.”
She also added that the importance of a good landfill site is that it is in direct relation to minimizing the amount of waste left around town. The new drop-off depots also allow recyclables to be dropped off at anytime.
Looking forward, the CIB committee is excited to take the judges suggestions and turn them into actions.
“I go through the evaluations and the recommendations,” Friesen said.
“(The) one that I’m thinking of (acting on first) is (placing) more containers (on Main Street) for garbage and recyclables. We don’t have anything to throw a bottle (away in) except a garbage can.”
The CIB members do so much to showcase our beautiful Valley but there are plenty of ways for the public to help.
“Sometimes people don’t realize that it’s their responsibility to keep their front yards clean,” said Friesen.
“If someone would like to volunteer or be on the committee they’re definitely welcome to join.”
Friesen also commented on her appreciation for those that pick up garbage when they come across it.
All of the judges comments and suggestions have been compiled into a booklet of comprehensive evaluations beneficial to our community’s development, which are located in the Town of Swan River office for anyone interested in reading all the acknowledgments our community received.
We are stronger together. When one blooms, our entire community follows.
“We appreciate the businesses and the residents in town for stepping up to the plate,” said Friesen.
“I really think that everyone went that extra mile.”

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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