Wood Buffalo didn’t win a ‘Community in Bloom’ award, however, they did leave a lasting impression.
CIB announced the winners for all categories at their ceremony in Strathcona County, Alberta on Saturday.
Wood Buffalo was in the ‘Class of Champions: large category’ going up against Edmonton, Sarnia, Ontario, and the eventual winner Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Despite not winning, the community received a ‘5 Blooms’ rating for their wildfire recovery initiatives.
“The municipality has made great strides toward rebuilding, revegetating, thinning burned forests, and clearing defensible spaces around the urbanized development,” wrote Evelyn Alemanni and Jim Baird, the judges assigned to visit the community.
“Over 80 per cent of the burned homes have been or are being rebuilt. The recovery effort is still ongoing and rebuilding will result in a better, stronger community.
The judges also believe it’s great to see so many recreational opportunities for residents still available.
“Most of the community remains and the parks and natural areas offer year-round recreational opportunities in facilities that rival those in larger cities.”
This is the second straight year that Wood Buffalo was nominated for a CIB award. In 2017, they were a finalist for their ‘International Challenge’ category.