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Monday 6 June 2011

Tidy Towns in NL

June 5-11th is Environment week, and that really means something here in NL. As a people who developed over time with such a close relationship with nature, NLers tend to have a good understanding of the importance of our environment.

That certainly seems to be the case down in Trinity Bay North on the Bonavista pensula. The local paper is The Packet and this good news story fills in the details on the recent efforts and partnerships to make the town a little more tidy. Trinity Bay North is not the only town working toward tidiness, and there's even a program that evaluates their success.

I was already aware of the Tidy Towns program when I was asked to step in as a last minute replacement judge in 2010. But I don't think I fully realized how seriously towns considered the program, or just how much work they put in place to keep their communities beautiful. After a week of visiting communities around the province, and meeting with municipal staff and volunteers, it was truly amazing to see just how beautiful our communities are. And it's not just the absence of litter and trash, or the cleanliness of parks and playgrounds that are important. The overall picture includes culture, history and of course the people themselves. Call me crazy but I've always felt that there's very little quite as beautiful as a well stacked pile of wood!

For the Tidy Towns competition there are population categories, and for 2010 the category that I was judging ended with the beautiful and historic Town of Bonavista with the winning score.

Here's a shot of Mayor Betty Fitzgerald, My partner judge Sheila Tulk, and Town Manager Calvin Rolls standing in front of one of the many, amazingly restored historic buildings in Bonavista.

For 2011 I am delighted to again be a judge for Tidy Towns, and this year will be a new category and all new communities to visit. I am looking forward to seeing the incredible work going into keeping our communities beautiful and meeting lots of community volunteers along the way. I am hoping to post a short series of articles and photos during the evaluations, to show just how amazing communities in Newfoundland and Labrador really are.

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