Coquitlam wins best park in global contest

The city of Coquitlam has been awarded top spot in an international contest ranking some of the best city parks in the world.

Coquitlam took home first in the International challenge (large category) in Communities in Bloom’s annual competition, which ranks city green spaces across six categories, including tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays. 

Every summer, judges from the non-profit fan out to hundreds of communities to evaluate how municipalities, industry and the private sector contribute to public green spaces. 

The results are published in a special edition of the organization’s magazine. Coquitlam received special praise for the Coquitlam Crunch, beating out Tall Trees Park in Barrie, Ont.; Leasowes Walled Gardens in the English town of Halesowen; Town Branch Commons in Lexington, Ky.; a children’s floral competition in  Székesfehérvár, Hungary; and a public art program in the parks of Wood Buffalo, Alta.

Judges praised the Coquitlam Crunch for its 'innovative use of a utility right-of-way'
Judges praised the Coquitlam Crunch for its ‘innovative use of a utility right-of-way’ – File

The judges praised the Coquitlam Crunch for its “innovative use of a utility right-of-way that has been designed to bring out the best of Coquitlam’s residents in mind, body and spirit by the provision of a community garden, trails and a series of 890 wooden “fitness” stairs reaching from the base to the top of the valley.” 

A community food garden, comprehensive park system and “Crunch Walk,” noted the judges, provide residents with high-quality, all-season parks. 

“Within the actual context of climate changes and environmental concerns, communities involved in the program can be proud of their efforts, which provide real and meaningful environmental solutions and benefit all of society,” wrote the organization in a press release announcing the win.

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