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Many may feel looking ahead to summer may be premature; however, Morden's Communities in Bloom (CIB) committee is hard at work, planning to achieve a perfect score.

When it comes to CIB, there are many components to the program which a community is graded on, and winter is the perfect time to get a head start, Morden's Community Services and Events Manager Clare Agnew says.

"We have to prepare a written document for them; I think the winter is a good time for doing that because we may have a little more time than in spring when everything is changing."

Agnew adds spring and summer aren't the only seasons the program focuses on, but the year as a whole.

Currently, the committee is preparing information for the judges, taking photos to include Morden's outdoor skating rinks, help people decorate and take care of their yards over the holidays, and maintaining the tidiness of the community over the winter months.

Agnew says Morden needs to put more emphasis on community involvement, allowing both schools and businesses to become more engaged with this initiative.

CIB is more than flowers and pretty gardens, Agnew says, the program encompasses environmental work and community tidiness, maintaining community history, and urban forestry.

The last few times Morden has participated in CIB, they've yet to obtain the full five out of five blooms, which Agnew attributes to lack of communication.

"We need to present the information more completely than we have in the past. Many of the categories that we did receive full credit for, I think we are doing some of that work, we may just have not presented it."

Some of those components include the historic homes and Confederation Park, the city's ash strategy, and compost programs; if Morden highlights these, Agnew believes it's possible for Morden to obtain full marks.

Having their first committee meeting, Agnew says they have several plans to achieve those full blooms, the group is organizing the city clean-up day, planning the judges' tour, making sure to touch on each of the categories of the program.

A new event Morden will have this spring is the Nature and Garden Expo. Developing the details is still ongoing; however, Agnew says it will be something to engage the entire community.

Not only will Morden have the chance to participate for five blooms, but the community will also be in the spotlight as the host of the 2019 CIB Provincial Conference.

Agnew says it will be a lot of work to plan for CIB in addition to the conference, but is excited to showcase all Morden has to offer.

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