Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and an annual national program that challenges communities to enhance green spaces. 

  • Over 60% of the judging grid criteria in assessment of a community relate directly to the environment, sustainability and climate change
  • A comprehensive judging report featuring 78 specific elements in 7 categories provide feedback to each community
  • Judges are required to provide specific suggestions for areas of improvement; often providing a basis for municipal budget considerations
  • The program has helped over 1,000 communities in over 30 years of existence with a cumulative economic value of over $28 million



Judging for Communities in Bloom

The judging process is designed to encourage communities to work together to create beautiful, sustainable, and environmentally responsible spaces to enhance the quality of life of their residents.


All municipalities across Canada are judged by dedicated, specially trained volunteer judges based on six criteria which include efforts made by residents, municipal bodies and all forms of businesses. The judges travel across Ontario during the summer and evaluate each location based on six factors.

Based on the evaluation, communities may be awarded ratings from one to five blooms, five blooms being the highest rating. Based on their ranking, communities can move on to the national and international competitions. Communities may also be eligible for special awards based on specific criteria such as sustainability, biodiversity, or community involvement.


Six Factors of Judging Criteria:
Environmental Action
Environmental Action, pertains to the impact of human activities on the environment and the subsequent efforts and achievements of the community with respect to: policies, by-laws, programs and best practices for waste reduction and landfill diversion, composting sites, landfill sites, hazardous waste collections, water conservation, energy conservation, and environmental stewardship activities under the guiding principles of sustainable development pertaining to green spaces.
Heritage Conservation

Heritage Conservation, includes efforts to preserve natural and cultural heritage within the community. Preservation of natural heritage pertains to policies, plans and actions concerning all elements of biodiversity including flora and fauna ecosystems and associated geological structures and formations. Cultural conservation refers to the heritage that helps define the community including the legacy of tangible (built/hard assets) elements such as heritage buildings, monuments, memorials, cemeteries, artifacts, museums and intangible elements such as traditions, customs, festivals and celebrations. The participation of groups such as historical societies and conservation groups are considered.

Landscaped Areas

Landscaped Areas - Landscape, includes planning, design, construction and maintenance of parks and green spaces suitable for the intended use and location on a year-round basis. Elements for evaluation include: native and introduced materials; balance of plants, materials and constructed elements; appropriate integration of hard surfaces and art elements, use of turf and groundcovers. Landscape design should harmonize the interests of all sectors of the community. Standards of execution and maintenance should demonstrate best practices, including quality of naturalization, use of groundcovers and wildflowers along with turf management.

Floral Displays

Floral Displays - Plant & Floral Displays, evaluates efforts of the municipality, businesses, institutions and residents to design, plan, execute, and maintain floral displays of high quality standards. Evaluation includes the design and arrangements of flowers and plants (annuals, perennials, bulbs, ornamental grasses, edible plants, water efficient and pollinator friendly plants) in the context of originality, distribution, location, diversity and balance, colour, and harmony This pertains to flowerbeds, carpet bedding, containers, baskets and window boxes.


Tidiness - Community Appearance, includes an overall tidiness effort by the municipality, businesses, institutions and the residents throughout the community. Elements for evaluation are parks and green spaces, medians, boulevards, sidewalks, streets; municipal, commercial, institutional and residential properties; ditches, road shoulders, vacant lots, signs and buildings; weed control, litter clean-up (including cigarette butts and gum), graffiti prevention/removal and vandalism deterrent programs.

Urban Forestry & Trails
Urban Forestry and Trails - Tree Management, includes the efforts of the municipality, businesses, institutions and residents with regards to written policies, by-laws, standards for tree and trail management (selection, design, signage, planting, and maintenance), long and short-term management plans, tree replacement policies, pollinator friendly tree selection, tree inventory, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM), heritage, memorial and commemorative trees. Trail types, signage, risk management policies, accessibility, surfacing and promotion.


Town of Pelham Profile Book


The Town of Pelham will create a profile book that showcases the efforts of the community. 


Help Pelham "Bloom" community art project

Visit the Meridian Community Centre to colour a flower and add to the growing flower display.



The display, composed of paper flowers, invites residents to "Help Pelham Bloom" by colouring flowers in shades of orange, the designated CIB colour of the year, and adding them to the vibrant exhibit.


Download the colouring sheets or visit the Meridian Community Centre information desk. 


2024 Communities in Bloom and Miracle-Gro Best Garden Selection

Help the Town of Pelham select the best, most beautiful gardens!


The Town is excited to invite Pelham residents to participate again in the 2024 Communities in Bloom and Miracle-Gro best garden selection! Everyone is invited to submit their beautiful gardens.


Contest entry will open on Monday, May 6, 2024.

2024 Contest Submission Form: Click here!


Selection Criteria:

  • Curb appeal include:
    • Colour scheme
    • Attention to landscaping
  • Landscape maintenance including:
    • Annuals and perennials that have healthy colour and foliage
    • Appropriate deadheading or pruning
    • Plants being kept at a pleasing size relative to the garden bed space
  • Landscape design principles and elements include:
    • Unity and Harmony (achieved by repeating objects or elements that are alike. For example, a repetition of shrubs or a colour scheme)
    • Balance (can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical)
    • Rhythm and Sequence (smooth blending of different elements to create a garden that is one unified scene)
  • Elements of design include:
    • Line
    • Texture
    • Form
    • Colour

Terms and Conditions:

  1. One entry per participant. Open to Town of Pelham residents.
  2. All photo entries must be a clear image and show the garden at a home or business.
  3. All photo entries must showcase gardens visible from the street.
  4. All entrants understand and agree that their property may be photographed and photos taken, as well as those submitted, may be used in the promotion of this and future events.
  5. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Duplicate entries will not be permitted.
  6. Late entries will not be accepted. Entries close June 21, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.
  7. Finalists will be selected from photo submissions and curbside review. The top twelve (12) finalists will receive the Best Garden sign and Miracle-Gro products.
  8. Winners will be notified by email.
  9. Prize has no cash value and can not be substituted or transferred.
History of Communities in Bloom in Pelham

More information coming soon. 



The Town of Pelham "Blooms" year round

a: a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor
ba state or time of high development or achievement

Learn more about how Pelham "Blooms" year round.


More information coming soon.


Learn more about how Pelham "Blooms" year round.


More information coming soon.


Learn more about how Pelham "Blooms" year round.


More information coming soon.


Learn more about how Pelham "Blooms" year round.


More information coming soon.


More information for Communities in Bloom in Pelham coming soon.

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