A tidy haul of awards
Three local communities honoured for beautification efforts
A trio of communities — Heart’s Content, Bay Roberts and Whiteway — in this region were honoured last week by Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador for encouraging residents to keep their properties looking spiffy as part of the Tidy Towns competition.
Heart’s Content beat out seven other communities in its population category — 401 to 600 — to claim an honour, Bay Roberts received an award of excellence in the over-5,000 category, and the Town of Whiteway won the community involvement criteria award . The winners were announced on Thursday, Oct. 7 during the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador convention in St. John’s.
Tidy Towns, which came to be in 1996, aims to encourage municipalities to engage in activities that highlight a community’s beauty and sense of civic pride. Forty-six communities participated in this year’s competition, according to a press release from Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.
Heart’s Content mayor Don Blundon said the townspeople in his community put a lot of effort into sprucing-up the town for the competition, which was judged over the summer. He noted this is the community’s fourth Tidy Town award.
“I think that the dedication that the townspeople put into it, the interest they had in keeping the town neat and tidy, and the floral arrangements around town all added to ensuring the town would win,” said Blundon, who is grateful to have residents committed to keeping the community looking good.
Winning an award has its perks, added the mayor, including an increased visibility with tourists.
Mayor Glenn Littlejohn of Bay Roberts said the award of excellence is a “significant achievement” for his community, as it follows a population category win in 2009 the town shared with Clarenville. According to Littlejohn, towns cannot win a population category two years in a row. Bay Roberts received the most votes in its population category this year, and was instead honoured with the award of excellence.
“It’s a tribute not only to (the Town of Bay Roberts), but it’s a tribute to our volunteer committees, our recreation committee, our heritage committee, and it’s truly something the whole town can be a part of,” Littlejohn said. “It’s an award we truly cherish. It’s an award for the community, and it’s a community effort.”
In the Town of Whiteway, Mayor Craig Whelan said the community had not been involved with the Tidy Towns competition for the previous two years, but elected to reenter for 2010.
“Most people in the town try to keep their property as tidy as possible, and they’re not trying to outdo the other feller, but they like to have their property looking as nice as the one next to them,” he said.
The judges had a lot of good things to say about Whiteway, said the mayor, and winning this year represents one step forward in efforts to make continued improvements to the town.
“It’s probably going to be recognized up and down the shore — for a small little town, it’s got quite a lot of things going for it.”