Each year, hundreds of Canadian communities participate in Communities in Bloom, a charitable initiative that aims to help increase the quality of life for residents by supporting the environmental health and beautification of neighbourhoods, parks, shopping districts, and more. Port Colborne is taking part in this initiative for the 2024 growing season. 

Participating in the 2024 provincial edition of Communities in Bloom (CiB) involves a collaborative effort between the City of Port Colborne and the community. To get ready for the friendly competition, the City will make its regular spring and summer gardening preparations, while also initiating small landscaping and beautification projects that will enhance the visual appeal of Port Colborne. 

Success in the CiB competition relies on active involvement. The end result is not just about winning the most blooms – it’s about supporting a vibrant and sustainable community for all to enjoy. Residents and businesses are encouraged to participate by volunteering their time to plant flowers or gardens, offering recommendations to the staff organizing committee, and assisting in maintaining the cleanliness of public spaces. 

The aim is to cultivate a culture of collaboration among residents, businesses, and property owners who share a passion for making their community shine. In the late summer, volunteer judges from Communities in Bloom will travel to Port Colborne to score the community’s efforts. Judging dates have not been announced yet. Please check back for updates. 


The colour theme for 2024 is orange. Orange was chosen to recognize the many Indigenous groups across the country. The Niagara Region is situated on treaty land. This land is steeped in the rich history of the First Nations, such as the Hatiwendaronk, Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. There are many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people from across Turtle Island that live and work in Niagara today. The City of Port Colborne stands with all Indigenous people, past and present, in promoting the wise stewardship of the lands on which we live. 


Residents are free to choose any flower variety that fits the theme. The City will be providing seeds to those interested in participating. Residents do not have to plant from seed and are welcome to visit any of the community’s nurseries or garden centres to purchase pre-sprouted flowers. 

Port Colborne is located in planting zone 6B. Some of the best flowers that grow in our area are: 

• Begonias 
• Cannas 
• Gladiolus 
• Phlox 
• Hibiscus 
• Roses 
• Butterfly Milkweed 


The City will also be participating in planting flowers that follow this year’s orange theme. Orange flowers will be placed in the following locations: 

• West Street Promenade 
• Lock 8 
• Vale Health and Wellness Centre 
• Roselawn Centre 
• H.H. Knoll Lakeview Park carpet bed 
• City Hall 

In addition to these areas, approximately 200 hanging baskets will be placed around the city. 


Judging for Communities in Bloom takes place from late July until mid August. Judges will travel to Port Colborne to assess our efforts in six different categories. They are: 

1) Community Appearance 

Community appearance is evaluated based on overall city participation and effort. Upkeep and attention to detail are two of the facets that determine the category score. This includes parks and green spaces, sidewalks and streets, ditches, signs and buildings, litter and graffiti control, and a general good first impression. 

2) Environmental Action 

Environmental action refers to the City’s environmentally centred by-laws and policies. This takes into consideration waste reduction efforts, energy conservation, and the impact of human activities in the city on the environment. 

3) Heritage Conservation 

Heritage conservation is concerned with the preservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage in the area. This can be in reference to policies and plans put in place by the City and how the plants in the area reflect the natural geography, as well as how heritage buildings, monuments and memorials establish a city persona. 

4) Tree Management 

Tree management refers to the by-laws, policies and standards that the City has initiated to protect and preserve its tree canopy. It also includes long- and short-term planting plans. 

5) Landscape 

Landscape is evaluated based on the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of public green spaces. Native and introduced plants, garden and plant design, and overall community safety of the public spaces are taken into consideration for scoring. 

6) Plant and Floral Displays 

The Plant and Floral Displays category is concerned with the full efforts of the municipality, businesses, and residents and their commitment to high-quality and well-maintained floral displays. Design creativity, originality, balance and colour are some of the main focal points considered by judges. 

Each category is given a point value, which are then added together to determine a total. The total then translates to a bloom score from one to five. Each municipality is given a bloom score.