WINNIPEG – If you’ve been to Assiniboine Park in recent days, you’ll have no doubt noticed an overwhelming number of Pokémon GO players.
Today the park will have two extra visitors, pushing through the throngs of smartphone gazers and judging it on a variety of criteria.
Assiniboine Park has been entered into the special attractions category of Communities in Bloom, the non-profit that civic pride and bragging rights as incentive for towns and cities to freshen up.
The park is already in tip-top shape, and horticulture director Karen Pierce is confident the judges will be impressed.
“I think so, but I also think there’s still room for us to grow, there’s no question. We are striving for excellence, so this is a really good opportunity for us to have someone come in and critique us and tell us what kinds of things we could do better.”
The judging criteria includes, heritage and conservation, landscaping, tidiness, environmental action, urban forestry and floral displays.
There’s no intrinsic “prize,” but Pierce says bragging rights are definitely on the line.
“If we win we can put up a sign, it gives us the OK to promote that within ourselves, and it allows us the opportunity to work with other parks to help them do the same type of process. We are competing with people in the past like the International Peace Garden and Jardins de Métis in Quebec. We want to see how does our park stand up.”
As for the Pokémon GO players, Pierce has no problem with them. In fact, she welcomes them.
“It is a community space and hopefully they’re using it as safely as possible. That’s one of the things that the park is really about, it’s about community and bringing people together. It’s really cool to see.”