As a national Communities in Bloom winner, the Town of Orangeville opted to participate in the non-competitive “Circle of Excellence” evaluation in 2019. But that didn’t stop the Town from achieving a top bloom rating, an award, and a special mention in 2019.

The Town of Orangeville received a 5 Blooms – Bronze rating and a special mention for the Utility Box Art Program, as announced at the National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The Town of Orangeville participated in the Circle of Excellence - Evaluated category. This non-competitive category still permitted the Town to apply for outstanding achievement awards. Orangeville received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association’s Environmental Action Award.

Over the summer, trained volunteer judges travelled to participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of municipal council and departments; industry; businesses and the private sector – including volunteer efforts – in regards to the following criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape and Floral Displays.

Following their evaluation, volunteer judges John Lohuis and Alex Pearl wrote:

“The Town of Orangeville provides class-leading methods and execution of how a Utility Box Wrapping Program should work. The Town commissions select artists through a juried process each year. Monies are budgeted to encourage local artists to apply for this honour. In turn, the Town through the program also provides recognition of the artist and an explanation of the artist’s work on the back side of the wrapped art piece. As well, the Town has one of the most significant drystone artists in the country and this person has added to the Memorial Heritage Forest at Island Lake Park with significant works as well as at the Friendship Gardens at Headwaters Health Care Centre.”

“This is very exciting news for the Town of Orangeville as it proves our commitment to environmental concerns is real -- and has been real for quite some time,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “The Orangeville Sustainability Action Team which began over 10 years ago and its successor committee -- Sustainable Orangeville -- have been leading the way. Special thanks to previous Councillor, Sylvia Bradley, for keeping sustainability always in the forefront of Town decision-making and to Councillor Grant Peters who as Chair of Sustainable Orangeville has taken up the mantle.”

“I was absolutely thrilled to accept the award on behalf or our wonderful community,” said Councillor Grant Peters, chair of Sustainable Orangeville. “The Town has been accelerating its environmental stewardship in recent years, and this award recognizes our progressive approach to sustainability. There were several other deserving communities across the country -- being selected is truly an honour, and we should be proud of this accomplishment.”