Tignish continues to bloom in the face of adversity

Tignish has taken part in Communities in Bloom for roughly 20 years, consistently earning top awards. The town is once again taking part this year, despite the fact that no judges will be stepping foot in the town. Because of COVID-19, the organization will be doing a virtual event instead. Tignish is entered in the 2020 Circle of Excellence Non-Evaluated Category, an international category. From left to right: Judy Morrissey Richard, a councillor for the Town of Tignish and committee member for Communities in Bloom, Judy Doucette, who works for the town under beautification and maintenance, and Jamie McHugh, landscape supervisor for Town of Tignish and Tignish Initiatives.          Jillian Trainor photo

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The people of Tignish have always taken pride in their properties and their community, but since getting involved with Communities in Bloom, that pride has increased.

Communities in Bloom is a non-profit organization in Canada dedicated to fostering civic pride, beautification, and environmental responsibility through community involvement with a focus on enhancing green spaces within a community. Judging for the event is normally done in-person, but because of COVID-19, the organization will be doing a virtual event instead.

“They’re not going to jeopardize their judges’ health trying to fly them all over the place,” said Judy Morrissey Richard, a councillor for the Town of Tignish and committee member for Communities in Bloom. “They wouldn’t be able to because they would have to come in and isolate for 14 days before they could judge.”

This year, Tignish is entered in the 2020 Circle of Excellence Non-Evaluated Category, an international category. Because the town competed in the international category last year, they will continue to compete at that level until they get the top mark, which is Five Blooms Gold. Once they achieve that, they move into the Class of Champions in the international category.

Ms Morrissey Richard said she’s still waiting to hear from the organization on some details, but the town is already registered for the virtual tour and is in the process of getting everything ready. Communities going to continue to provide guidance and assistance to communities involved in the virtual competition.

One of the people helping to get Tignish ready is Jamie McHugh, landscape supervisor for Town of Tignish and Tignish Initiatives. She said this year, the focus is on landscape and floral displays, with one specific colour being the focus.

“This year we’re blooming pink,” Ms McHugh said. “It’s nice and bright, and showy, and cheery, kids love pink, adults love pink. In the midst of all that’s going on in the world, if you want to come to Tignish, then you’re going to see some pretty landscape displays, and pretty gardens, and pretty parks.”

For Ms McHugh, one thing she takes away from doing this is the amount of pride that goes into her job, something she’s noticed extends out to home owners, residents, business people alike. She said residents are taking pride in their own properties and their town, which in turn helps become more environmentally aware as well.

“My favourite would be knowing that if I’m not doing this in 20 years time, that I contributed somehow to my town that I love. It’s home,” she concluded.

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