City of Brandon Wins National Youth Involvement Award

November 17, 2016


Brandon, MB – The City of Brandon’s unique approach to environmental sustainability-themed youth programming has recently been recognized with a national Communities in Bloom Award.

City of Brandon Community Services Department representatives accepted an Outstanding Achievement in Youth Involvement Award, sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro, at the Communities in Bloom National Symposium last month in Regina, SK. The City’s dedicated participation in the Communities in Bloom program was also recognized with its continued placement in this year’s Communities in Bloom Circle of Excellence (non-evaluated). 

Highlighted within the City of Brandon’s win for Youth Involvement was its efforts to foster civic pride in youth through various community gardening and environmental learning programs, offered in partnership with the Brandon School Division.

“We are very honoured that the Communities in Bloom organization has recognized our collective efforts to engage, inspire, and develop our youth in Brandon schools,” says City of Brandon Community Development Coordinator Angie Veilleux. “We’ve developed a great relationship with the Brandon School Division and, as such, have had great success with youth-focused initiatives such as the annual Brandon Enviro Expo, the school-based ‘Planet Protector’ program, the Brandon Junior Garden Club, and the development of community gardens directly on school grounds.”

Veilleux adds that the City of Brandon’s recently-adopted Culture Plan has the potential to build on this success, with its recommendation of the establishment of a youth mentoring program to match aspiring youth with mentors in the culture sector.

A full list of winners from the Communities in Bloom National Symposium can be found by visiting

Also announced in conjunction with the Communities in Bloom National Symposium was Brandon’s inclusion as one of 50 Canadian communities to receive $25,000 through Canadian National Railway’s   EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up 2017 grant program. The City of Brandon’s Community Services Department will use the funding to create a “natural oasis” of trees and shrubs at the site of a newly-constructed storm retention pond located along Kirkcaldy Drive near the Riverbank Discovery Centre.

“With this grant money, we now have the opportunity to create a wildlife habitat, increase canopy cover, and also develop a showcase piece for educational purposes in a part of our community which has impacted by previous flooding events,” notes City of Brandon Environmental Initiatives Coordinator Lindsay Hargreaves.

As part of the grant, Brandon will also participate in the installation of a commemorative plaque and the planting of a ceremonial tree in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada. More information on the EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program can be found here.