In National Communities in Bloom competition
Tignish Council Chair, Allan McInnis, from left; administrator Karen Gaudet-Gavin; community gardens coordinator Jamie McHugh, and municipal vice-chair Ed Gallant display the national award Gallant picked up for Tignish at Communities in Bloom's national awards banquet Saturday in Otetawa. Tignish won five blooms and the national award for communities with populations under 1,000.
Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
TIGNISH -- The Community of Tignish is bursting with pride after claiming the Communities in Bloom national award Saturday for communities with populations under 1,000 people.
Tignish has participated in the national awards program for five years, first in the non-competitive Friends category and now, for three years, in the competitive stream.
Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization 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 in communities.
Community vice-chair Ed Gallant, who attended the awards banquet Saturday in the national capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau, acknowledged the national awards and five blooms recognition is a major achievement for the community. “The amount of things they judge you on is incredible,” he said, stressing it is much more than flower gardens. He accompanied the CIB judges last summer as they toured the community looking at everything form volunteerism to the municipal lagoon and its emphasis on preserving and displaying its history.
Gallant noted the judges, Claire Laberge and Gerry Teahen, seemed pleased the recommendations they made following their 2012 tour had been carried out.
Tignish received special acknowledgement from the judges for its cultural centre.
Tignish Council chair Allan McInnis heaped praise on Jamie McHugh for the work she has done on developing and caring for floral displays in the communities and for the community pride that work has helped foster.
McHugh said she started out on a Section 21 project 10 years ago, helping to develop the gardens at Heritage Inn. She’s been caring for them and growing new ones ever since.
“Slowly everybody got onboard,” she said of the community buy-in.
“To get that award, it means a lot,” said Judy Morrissey-Richard, chair of the community’s CIB committee. “It’s what we’ve been striving for.”
She insisted Tignish would not rest on its laurels but will enter the national competition again and continue to work on improvements. “There’s always room to grow. Always room to grow,” she said, adding that community volunteers help make it happen. She said she hopes to grow the committee and focus on developing activities in all four seasons. This year she wants to re-introduce the Santa Claus parade.
Municipal staff and summer workers were also recognized for their commitment to improving their community.
Charlottetown, which will host Communities in Bloom National & International Awards Ceremonies next year, was the only other P.E.I. community to receive a national award this year, The Municipal World Winterlife Award.
McHugh remarked on how residents take interest in the displays and seek advice on how they can carry out similar projects on their properties.
When McInnis suggested he will be proposing council provide a greenhouse to help get an early start on displays for future years, McHugh responded with glee: “Weak pile of annuals!”
Besides the national award for communities under 1,000, the Tignish Legion’s Veterans Memorial Garden was awarded a second place prize of $500 in a new national category for Memorial Gardens.
As a national winner, Tignish will compete in a Circle of Winners category in future years.
McHugh, however has her sights set on an even bigger prize: international recognition for Tignish.