The beautification of Sicamous continues even though this year’s Communities in Bloom judging has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Although their efforts will not be judged, local Communities in Bloom chair Deb Heap said she and other volunteers will do what they can for the community in a way that observes all rules put in place by the public health officer.
Sicamous had been chosen to host the 2020 Communities in Bloom’s B.C. awards ceremony but that has also been cancelled. According to an update for interested volunteers put out by Heap, another community has already committed to hosting the 2021 awards, but Sicamous will be able to host in 2022.
Heap said although the lack of judging makes it difficult to measure the effectiveness of community beautification efforts, as many Communities in Bloom projects as possible will be proceeding. Heap said there may be some opportunity for volunteers to assist with beautification work at the Red Barn which will be Communities in Bloom Sicamous’ feature project for 2020. She said they plan to install a fire-themed barn quilt created by the Eagle Valley Arts Council at the Sicamous Fire Hall. Volunteers are also needed for outdoor improvements at the Sicamous Legion and the United Church.
One of the earliest annual events aimed at helping Sicamous look its best ahead of the summer tourist season has also been cancelled. Sicamous’ annual community clean-up, usually held in late April, was cancelled. Heap said the associated curbside pick up of yard waste and scrap appliances carried out by the District of Sicamous would still happen in the first week of May.
Heap said ‘adopt a garden,’ a new Communities in Bloom initiative, will also be going forward. Although the district’s gardens on public property won’t be judged this year, volunteers are still needed for the initiative which puts volunteers in charge of maintaining the gardens.
Heap hopes concerns about the availability of food brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic will make 2020 the year that Communities in Bloom-backed projects focused on food security take off. She said the harvest registry, which has been running in Sicamous in recent years, has not attracted as many pickers as there are fruit trees and other crops that need picking, but she thinks if this year’s unique situation persists until the fruit is ripe, people will be more eager to take advantage of local produce.