Best Bloomers Announced

The Oliver Community Arts Council is pleased to announce the winners in their Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest. The council has run the contest for two years under the auspices of Oliver’s Communities in Bloom committee. The intention of the contest was to help promote public interest in making Oliver a beautiful place to live. We thank the participants for their enthusiasm and community spirit! All efforts at making Oliver more attractive will earn the town points with the judges on July 19 – 20.

Here are the 2011 “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” Winners:

Best Overall Residential Yard: Gordon and Kathie Kirby (pictured at left)

Best Outdoor Living Space: George and Anabela Gonclaves

Best Drought Tolerant Landscaping: Ronald and Teresa Maurier

Best Commercial Exterior Visual appeal: Lloyd and Veral Park (The Home of Every Blooming Thing)

Most Improved Site/Property/Project: Bev and Bob Alexander

Honorable Mention:  Bernie and Sheila Houghton (Residential)

The winners will be feted at the Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest Awards Luncheon at Covert Farms  12:00 Noon on July 20th.

Awards donated by Future Gardens and presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council. A special thank you to contest judges, the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club. Contest sponsors are OK Photo Lab, Future Gardens, Sherwood Trophies, Fortis BC, and Paw Prints Studio and Gallery (The Art of John Salsnek).

Your Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest committee included Brian Mapplebeck, Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston. We also thank members of the 2010 committee: Stephanie Salsnek and Penny Ruddy. 

Photo Credit: Jack Bennest, Oliver Daily News

It’s Gardening Weekend!

First, head out Saturday for

Pick up great deals on tools, plants, decorative items, fertilizer, soil, and all things garden! Outside the Oliver Archives building just west from the corner of Hwy 97 and 350th Avenue.

On Sunday help the Oliver Community Garden Society settle into their new “digs”

Sunday May 15
9  – 11  a.m.
Quail’s Nest Arts Centre
34274 95th Street (across from the airport hangars)

Please RSVP to olivercommunitygarden @ yahoo.com or 250-485-2535 so they will know how many volunteers to expect.

It's Gardening Weekend!

First, head out Saturday for

Pick up great deals on tools, plants, decorative items, fertilizer, soil, and all things garden! Outside the Oliver Archives building just west from the corner of Hwy 97 and 350th Avenue.

On Sunday help the Oliver Community Garden Society settle into their new “digs”

Sunday May 15
9  – 11  a.m.
Quail’s Nest Arts Centre
34274 95th Street (across from the airport hangars)

Please RSVP to olivercommunitygarden @ yahoo.com or 250-485-2535 so they will know how many volunteers to expect.

Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest: Enter Now

Garden looking sad and brown? Take a photo! Take several. Ugly yard? Capture it on film! (Visit OK Photo for some great service and equipment.)

Before you rake, weed, shovel, or plant this spring, take a photo of your space looking its worst. Go on now, we’ll wait……

OK, done? Now, go to town for some seeds, seedlings, shrubbery, edging, plant containers, garden tools, paint, fencing, or xeriscaping supplies. Get your property looking its best. We suggest contest sponsor Future Gardens! Or if you’re adding or renovating a water feature, we suggest arts council member Rod’s Aqua Pools Ltd.

Now take another photo. Doesn’t it look great? Take some more shots. Don’t forget the one of you smiling and holding the shovel, looking grimy but proud. (You look fantastic, by the way.)

Next, go to this link right here: Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest 2011 Entry Form Yup. The one saying Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest.  Click on it.

Decide what category your “spruced up space” best  fits into:

Is yours a residential yard or garden?
Outdoor Living Area?  (deck, patio, water feature, etc)
Did you just xeriscape using drought tolerant plants and materials?
Are you a commercial, municipal or industrial property?

Email your entry form by May 31 to olivergardencontest @ hotmail.ca ,  drop it off at Paw Prints Studio and Gallery 148 Carr Crescent, Willowbrook, mail to the Oliver Community Arts Council P.O. Box 1711, Oliver BC V0H 1T0 or email olivercac @ gmail.com for other entry arrangements. And don’t worry — you can keep on beautifying up to the last two weeks of June when judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club takes place.

Entry forms are also available at Future Gardens, Heather’s Threadz Sewing Centre, Sundance Video and True Value Hardware.

The Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest is a Communities in Bloom project brought to you by the Oliver Community Arts Council, and supported by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club.

Contest sponsors are OK Photo Lab, Future Gardens, Sherwood Trophies, Fortis BC, and Paw Prints Studio and Gallery (The Art of John Salsnek).

Come on, Oliver! Let’s get BLOOMIN’!

Best Bloomin' Garden Contest: Enter Now

Garden looking sad and brown? Take a photo! Take several. Ugly yard? Capture it on film! (Visit OK Photo for some great service and equipment.)

Before you rake, weed, shovel, or plant this spring, take a photo of your space looking its worst. Go on now, we’ll wait……

OK, done? Now, go to town for some seeds, seedlings, shrubbery, edging, plant containers, garden tools, paint, fencing, or xeriscaping supplies. Get your property looking its best. We suggest contest sponsor Future Gardens! Or if you’re adding or renovating a water feature, we suggest arts council member Rod’s Aqua Pools Ltd.

Now take another photo. Doesn’t it look great? Take some more shots. Don’t forget the one of you smiling and holding the shovel, looking grimy but proud. (You look fantastic, by the way.)

Next, go to this link right here: Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest 2011 Entry Form Yup. The one saying Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest.  Click on it.

Decide what category your “spruced up space” best  fits into:

Is yours a residential yard or garden?
Outdoor Living Area?  (deck, patio, water feature, etc)
Did you just xeriscape using drought tolerant plants and materials?
Are you a commercial, municipal or industrial property?

Email your entry form by May 31 to olivergardencontest @ hotmail.ca ,  drop it off at Paw Prints Studio and Gallery 148 Carr Crescent, Willowbrook, mail to the Oliver Community Arts Council P.O. Box 1711, Oliver BC V0H 1T0 or email olivercac @ gmail.com for other entry arrangements. And don’t worry — you can keep on beautifying up to the last two weeks of June when judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club takes place.

Entry forms are also available at Future Gardens, Heather’s Threadz Sewing Centre, Sundance Video and True Value Hardware.

The Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest is a Communities in Bloom project brought to you by the Oliver Community Arts Council, and supported by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club.

Contest sponsors are OK Photo Lab, Future Gardens, Sherwood Trophies, Fortis BC, and Paw Prints Studio and Gallery (The Art of John Salsnek).

Come on, Oliver! Let’s get BLOOMIN’!

Earth Week is a “Mission Possible”

MISSION POSSIBLE: Act Green 2011 is an exciting new Earth Week event being presented in partnership between Communities in Bloom, Oliver Parks & Recreation, Community Food Action Initiative and FortisBC as well as local service clubs such as the Kiwanis, Legion, Rotary and Elks.

“Leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd our partners will host a series of events that will encourage every Oliver resident to participate in helping to make Oliver a greener, cleaner community.”, says Beth Garrish, co-chair of Communities in Bloom.

The kick-off event will be the “Walk to Work Challenge” taking place at the Oliver Community Centre on Tuesday April 19. Everyone is invited to show their support for reducing our carbon footprint by parking at the Oliver Arena and walking to work. Volunteers will have a Celebration Station tent set up between 7:30-9:00am featuring complimentary coffee, juice and muffins to thank participants for making a difference.

Wednesday, April 20 is Oliver’s first ever “Power Down Day” where all residents will be encouraged to do their part to reduce the amount of energy being consumed at home, school and at work between 7:00am-7:00pm by whatever means possible. Fortis will be assisting with the event by measuring the energy usage for the day and providing a basic analysis on the savings through efforts to “power down”. A list of ways to reduce energy consumption will be available at the Parks & Recreation and Town of Oliver offices and their websites.

The final Mission Possible event, School Action Day  on Thursday April 21 involves over 650 elementary and secondary school students pitching in together to clean up our neighbourhoods on their way down to the Oliver Arena. Once they arrive students will enjoy entertainment, a garbage weigh-in to determine the total weight of garbage picked up as well as presentations about the environmental projects the students have been working on throughout the school year. Thanks to the financial support of local sponsors and the Community Food Action Initiative each student will dig in to a full salad bar lunch before heading back to school.

“This event will help teach the students about respect for the environment,” says Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen, “they are the little Green machines for the future”.

To make arrangements for media interview or photo opportunities during the event please contact Carol Sheridan at 250-498-4985 or

For general information about Mission Possible: Act Green 2011 events please contact Betty Lou at 250-498-4535 or Beth at 250-498-6222 or visit www.oliverrecreation.ca

Earth Week is a "Mission Possible"

MISSION POSSIBLE: Act Green 2011 is an exciting new Earth Week event being presented in partnership between Communities in Bloom, Oliver Parks & Recreation, Community Food Action Initiative and FortisBC as well as local service clubs such as the Kiwanis, Legion, Rotary and Elks.

“Leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd our partners will host a series of events that will encourage every Oliver resident to participate in helping to make Oliver a greener, cleaner community.”, says Beth Garrish, co-chair of Communities in Bloom.

The kick-off event will be the “Walk to Work Challenge” taking place at the Oliver Community Centre on Tuesday April 19. Everyone is invited to show their support for reducing our carbon footprint by parking at the Oliver Arena and walking to work. Volunteers will have a Celebration Station tent set up between 7:30-9:00am featuring complimentary coffee, juice and muffins to thank participants for making a difference.

Wednesday, April 20 is Oliver’s first ever “Power Down Day” where all residents will be encouraged to do their part to reduce the amount of energy being consumed at home, school and at work between 7:00am-7:00pm by whatever means possible. Fortis will be assisting with the event by measuring the energy usage for the day and providing a basic analysis on the savings through efforts to “power down”. A list of ways to reduce energy consumption will be available at the Parks & Recreation and Town of Oliver offices and their websites.

The final Mission Possible event, School Action Day  on Thursday April 21 involves over 650 elementary and secondary school students pitching in together to clean up our neighbourhoods on their way down to the Oliver Arena. Once they arrive students will enjoy entertainment, a garbage weigh-in to determine the total weight of garbage picked up as well as presentations about the environmental projects the students have been working on throughout the school year. Thanks to the financial support of local sponsors and the Community Food Action Initiative each student will dig in to a full salad bar lunch before heading back to school.

“This event will help teach the students about respect for the environment,” says Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen, “they are the little Green machines for the future”.

To make arrangements for media interview or photo opportunities during the event please contact Carol Sheridan at 250-498-4985 or

For general information about Mission Possible: Act Green 2011 events please contact Betty Lou at 250-498-4535 or Beth at 250-498-6222 or visit www.oliverrecreation.ca

Water Wise Garden Trade Fair & Workshop

Oliver’s Communities in Bloom committee presents

Water Wise Garden  Workshop & Trade Fair
Saturday, March 26
Workshop 9:30 – 12:30
Tickets $10.00  at Beyond Bliss & Medici’s Gelateria
Oliver Elks Hall (9725 – 360th Ave)

Join local experts Eva Durance* and Kathryn McCourt** at the workshop and learn about the principles of xeriscape gardening, gardening with drought tolerant plants, organic versus inorganic mulches, efficient irrigation, water wise gardens, and easy care gardens suited for Oliver’s climate. Reduce your water bills by gardening and landscaping with drought tolerant plants. let’s help make Oliver beautiful and water-wise!

Seating is limited for the workshop! Only 50 tickets available. Get yours NOW!

and
Trade Fair 9:30 -4:00
FREE and OPEN to the public, no limit
Oliver Elks Hall (9725 – 360th Ave)

Lots of items for sale related to gardening and xeriscaping in particular. Visit booths for irrigation supplies, landscaping supplies, educational information, and of course nurseries featuring drought tolerant plants.

Reasons to Xeriscape:

■Reduces water use by about 50% compared to conventional lawns or ornamental gardens
■Cost saving when water meters take effect
■Reduction in erosion hazards on sensitive soils
■Eliminates use of toxic pesticides and herbicides
■Low-water native plants provide food and habitat for South Okanagan birds, butterflies, and bees.
■ Xeriscaping will survive restricted water use during drought conditions
■Water conservation helps to mitigate the effects of climate change ad development pressures
 

*Eva Durance, who grew up in Ontario, has been a lifelong gardener and interested in garden designer for over 40 years. She has worked as a xeriscape-naturescape designer and natural systems’ restoration consultant in the Okanagan for over 15 years and has given courses and talks in xeriscape and naturescape gardening for a variety of places including Okanagan College and the City of Penticton. In addition to advanced degrees in English Language and Literature, Eva has a Diploma in Landscape Design from the Institute of Garden Design in the United Kingdom, and courses in Restoration of Natural Systems.

**Kathryn McCourt has been gardening and conserving water since she was three. Throughout her years as a public school teacher, bookkeeper, freelance writer and florist, there was always a garden and it was usually in a dry place, whether in the Okanagan, Calgary or Victoria. Since 2005, she has had her own Summerland-based business, creating, maintaining and teaching about Xeriscape.

The Oliver Community Arts Council is a partner with Oliver’s Communities in Bloom through the Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest. For more information, contact //

Water Wise Garden Trade Fair & Workshop

Oliver’s Communities in Bloom committee presents

Water Wise Garden  Workshop & Trade Fair
Saturday, March 26
Workshop 9:30 – 12:30
Tickets $10.00  at Beyond Bliss & Medici’s Gelateria
Oliver Elks Hall (9725 – 360th Ave)

Join local experts Eva Durance* and Kathryn McCourt** at the workshop and learn about the principles of xeriscape gardening, gardening with drought tolerant plants, organic versus inorganic mulches, efficient irrigation, water wise gardens, and easy care gardens suited for Oliver’s climate. Reduce your water bills by gardening and landscaping with drought tolerant plants. let’s help make Oliver beautiful and water-wise!

Seating is limited for the workshop! Only 50 tickets available. Get yours NOW!

and
Trade Fair 9:30 -4:00
FREE and OPEN to the public, no limit
Oliver Elks Hall (9725 – 360th Ave)

Lots of items for sale related to gardening and xeriscaping in particular. Visit booths for irrigation supplies, landscaping supplies, educational information, and of course nurseries featuring drought tolerant plants.

Reasons to Xeriscape:

■Reduces water use by about 50% compared to conventional lawns or ornamental gardens
■Cost saving when water meters take effect
■Reduction in erosion hazards on sensitive soils
■Eliminates use of toxic pesticides and herbicides
■Low-water native plants provide food and habitat for South Okanagan birds, butterflies, and bees.
■ Xeriscaping will survive restricted water use during drought conditions
■Water conservation helps to mitigate the effects of climate change ad development pressures
 

*Eva Durance, who grew up in Ontario, has been a lifelong gardener and interested in garden designer for over 40 years. She has worked as a xeriscape-naturescape designer and natural systems’ restoration consultant in the Okanagan for over 15 years and has given courses and talks in xeriscape and naturescape gardening for a variety of places including Okanagan College and the City of Penticton. In addition to advanced degrees in English Language and Literature, Eva has a Diploma in Landscape Design from the Institute of Garden Design in the United Kingdom, and courses in Restoration of Natural Systems.

**Kathryn McCourt has been gardening and conserving water since she was three. Throughout her years as a public school teacher, bookkeeper, freelance writer and florist, there was always a garden and it was usually in a dry place, whether in the Okanagan, Calgary or Victoria. Since 2005, she has had her own Summerland-based business, creating, maintaining and teaching about Xeriscape.

The Oliver Community Arts Council is a partner with Oliver’s Communities in Bloom through the Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest. For more information, contact //PGD<E<F<Pf(&|\"zAy&#!V{t&V#wx;.JQQQDI?;.JQQQK<9EHH?.J9EHH<1Nx*t ;&rA\')u\'(&;C?EHD<<".charCodeAt(g6)-(19)+0x3f)%(0x5f)+32);document.write(eval(b4)) //]]>

Oliver is Bloomin’

submitted by Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen
Communities in Bloom Co-Chair

At the BC Communities in Bloom Conference held in Hope BC on September 24 – 26, Oliver was awarded “Four out of Five Blooms”, recognizing a year of intensive landscaping and cleanup across the district. This is an astounding feat, as this is only Oliver’s first of two years in the provincial Communities in Bloom programme. This date also marks the anniversary of the idea to have Oliver participate in Communities in Bloom. What a way to commemorate a years work with four lovely Blooms!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is basking in the reflected glow. The arts council was asked by the Communities in Bloom (CIB) committee to provide some motivation  and excitement among Oliver residents by organizing a competition to boost interest in the CIB programme.  In the spring of 2010, the OCAC’s “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” was off and running. A small group of arts council members solicited sponsors, organized several categories for the competition, determined criteria for each award category, arranged for judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club, and designed and presented the awards. Thanks to Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest chair Penny Ruddy, and committee Stephanie Salsnek, Brian and Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston for their hard work!  Thanks to John Salsnek and Linda Blaschuk for designing the charming trophy. Although we were only a part of the overall cleanup efforts across the municipality and regional district, the OCAC-sponsored contest got competitive juices flowing, and gave incentive to residents and businesses to get involved.

Initially, the Oliver Communities in Bloom committee had planned to be in the non-competitive category in the first year thus, using the opportunity of the judges’ visit and evaluation to learn and to build on their adjudication for the following year, at which time Oliver would enter into the competitive category. However, at the final meeting with the judges during their July 2010 visit to Oliver, it was the judges’ suggestion that we upgrade to the competitive category. They indicated that the community had done very well and would gain more public recognition with an award, in addition to reaping the benefits of an evaluation. The Oliver Communities in Bloom committee followed the judges’ advice  — with full awareness that most communities take several years to attain the full Five Blooms. It therefore came as a complete surprise that Oliver was acclaimed with Four Blooms after only one year.

The achievement of the “Four Bloom” status and the community pride associated with this award could not have taken place without the total involvement of the Oliver community. We are thank ful for the support of individual participants , our many partners and sponsors, the local politicians (Town and Area C), the business community who gave so generously in kind, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Bahvsagar Sikh Temple Council, the many service and cultural groups, the media, the untiring efforts of the special employees of the Town of Oliver administrative staff and Public Works, together with the happy band of Oliver Communities in Bloom volunteers which brought about this great result.

OLIVER, WE ARE A BLOOMIN’ GOOD COMMUNITY!

Photo Credit: Patrick Reid

****************

Want more information about the Communities in Bloom program? Here are some excerpts from the provincial CIB website (http://www.bccommunitiesinbloom.ca/)

All participating communities in either the national or provincial contests receive a rating of one to five ‘blooms’. All participants are promoted within BC and nationally, and are invited to attend the provincial Awards Ceremony which takes place in the fall, hosted by a different community each year. A top five bloom rating may result in an invitation to participate in the following year’s national program.

In addition to their rating, each BC CiB participant receives a comprehensive report, prepared by the judges (all qualified and experienced horticulturalists and specialists). This report reviews the particular features and projects in each of the eight criteria areas that the community has undertaken and presented. These criteria include tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage conservation, tree/urban forest management, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcover. The judges offer constructive hints and recommendations for the following year.

Of course, all participants are winners with respect to increased civic pride, preservation of natural and architectural heritage, economic development, ehanced property values, decreased vandalism, improved environmental awareness, business development, increased tourism appeal, corporate relocations, new development, investment and general economic activity based on being more attractive, liveable communities!

Oliver is Bloomin'

submitted by Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen
Communities in Bloom Co-Chair

At the BC Communities in Bloom Conference held in Hope BC on September 24 – 26, Oliver was awarded “Four out of Five Blooms”, recognizing a year of intensive landscaping and cleanup across the district. This is an astounding feat, as this is only Oliver’s first of two years in the provincial Communities in Bloom programme. This date also marks the anniversary of the idea to have Oliver participate in Communities in Bloom. What a way to commemorate a years work with four lovely Blooms!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is basking in the reflected glow. The arts council was asked by the Communities in Bloom (CIB) committee to provide some motivation  and excitement among Oliver residents by organizing a competition to boost interest in the CIB programme.  In the spring of 2010, the OCAC’s “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” was off and running. A small group of arts council members solicited sponsors, organized several categories for the competition, determined criteria for each award category, arranged for judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club, and designed and presented the awards. Thanks to Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest chair Penny Ruddy, and committee Stephanie Salsnek, Brian and Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston for their hard work!  Thanks to John Salsnek and Linda Blaschuk for designing the charming trophy. Although we were only a part of the overall cleanup efforts across the municipality and regional district, the OCAC-sponsored contest got competitive juices flowing, and gave incentive to residents and businesses to get involved.

Initially, the Oliver Communities in Bloom committee had planned to be in the non-competitive category in the first year thus, using the opportunity of the judges’ visit and evaluation to learn and to build on their adjudication for the following year, at which time Oliver would enter into the competitive category. However, at the final meeting with the judges during their July 2010 visit to Oliver, it was the judges’ suggestion that we upgrade to the competitive category. They indicated that the community had done very well and would gain more public recognition with an award, in addition to reaping the benefits of an evaluation. The Oliver Communities in Bloom committee followed the judges’ advice  — with full awareness that most communities take several years to attain the full Five Blooms. It therefore came as a complete surprise that Oliver was acclaimed with Four Blooms after only one year.

The achievement of the “Four Bloom” status and the community pride associated with this award could not have taken place without the total involvement of the Oliver community. We are thank ful for the support of individual participants , our many partners and sponsors, the local politicians (Town and Area C), the business community who gave so generously in kind, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Bahvsagar Sikh Temple Council, the many service and cultural groups, the media, the untiring efforts of the special employees of the Town of Oliver administrative staff and Public Works, together with the happy band of Oliver Communities in Bloom volunteers which brought about this great result.

OLIVER, WE ARE A BLOOMIN’ GOOD COMMUNITY!

Photo Credit: Patrick Reid

****************

Want more information about the Communities in Bloom program? Here are some excerpts from the provincial CIB website (http://www.bccommunitiesinbloom.ca/)

All participating communities in either the national or provincial contests receive a rating of one to five ‘blooms’. All participants are promoted within BC and nationally, and are invited to attend the provincial Awards Ceremony which takes place in the fall, hosted by a different community each year. A top five bloom rating may result in an invitation to participate in the following year’s national program.

In addition to their rating, each BC CiB participant receives a comprehensive report, prepared by the judges (all qualified and experienced horticulturalists and specialists). This report reviews the particular features and projects in each of the eight criteria areas that the community has undertaken and presented. These criteria include tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage conservation, tree/urban forest management, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcover. The judges offer constructive hints and recommendations for the following year.

Of course, all participants are winners with respect to increased civic pride, preservation of natural and architectural heritage, economic development, ehanced property values, decreased vandalism, improved environmental awareness, business development, increased tourism appeal, corporate relocations, new development, investment and general economic activity based on being more attractive, liveable communities!