Faith Archer and Debbie Marshall are working hard to get 5 blooms again this year.

The co-chairs of the local Community in Bloom sat down with Moose FM. They look forward to this years competition in hopes of becoming top of their population category. Judges will arrive July 18th and stay until July 20th. They will mark the community on a number of categories, including tidiness, heritage conservation, landscaping and floral displays. In years past the CiB judges have been impressed with the community’s dedication to its heritage, most notably Wilno Park. The floral arrangements of the community were also rated high.

Archer and Marshall say the Valley’s direct competition is the town of Merrickville in Leeds-Grenville County. Both townships received 5 blooms last year, but Merrickville narrowly beat out the Madawaska Valley for top ranked town of under 5000 people. The winner of each population category then competes internationally. However, Archer and Marshall say that the Valley being competitive nationally is very important for the community.

Archer and Marshall say it isn’t just how a community looks that’s being judged. They say how neighborly the community is also factors into the rating. During the 2017 flood season, the judges were taken down to the affected areas to see how the community was working together to clean up. In another instance, Archer and Marshall say judges were taken to the dump in Combermere to show the trees being grown there to lessen the environmental impact.

Both Archer and Marshall are proud of the community, and want to showcase the pride of the Valley to the world. They would also like to thank their sponsors and Home Hardware, the Cooperators, the BIA and others for their work in making Communities in Bloom happen. They are also holding number of gardening competitions in the lead up to the judges visiting the Madawaska Valley.