The desert shall rejoice and bloom as the rose. - Isaiah 35:2
We are now spending some time in Ontario and a day or so before we left a young man visited us and enquired whether we had heard some late news regarding Fogo. He was referring to the fact that the town of Fogo had been a national winner in the Communities in Bloom competition. He seemed to be as pleased as if the announcement had been 'Fogo Rocks'! I was pleased too, since a hobby of mine is gardening, and especially that of flowers and shrubs.I was surprised, as well, since there must be thousands of communities across this country in the particular category that Fogo won in, and although I know all of them weren't contenders, a goodly number of them were. It was quite an honour and, will help put Fogo Island on the map, again. But what is Communities in Bloom?
There are several websites on the topic that you might check, but in a nutshell it is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the promotion and value of green spaces in communal settings.
Their slogan is “People, plants and pride growing together.”
The competition was established in Canada in 1995 based on a similar program in Britain - 'Britain in Bloom', with only 29 participating municipalities, initially. The program now includes hundreds of communities across the country with an international challenge involving communities from the United States, Japan, and several European countries. Perhaps in a few years when Fogo Island becomes an established single community that new entity might compete internationally. There are some pretty good gardens on Fogo Island. Check out Ed and Shirley Combden's garden in Barr'd Islands next summer. There are other peculiar aspects on Fogo Island that we could capitalize on, e.g trails, and restoration projects.