A beautiful place to live

Dec 17, 2013

Neighbors and Kiwanis members celebrate a best block award.

It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In Medicine Hat, Alberta, this old adage proves true through the Kiwanis club’s best block and best residence program, which encourages pride and charm in this city of 62,000.

Each summer for more than 60 years, members of the Kiwanis Club of Medicine Hat have taken a close look at the city’s neighborhoods to find the most attractive residences on which to bestow the title “best.” Creative use of landscaping, neatness and unusual features can earn individual homes and entire blocks a Kiwanis sign in the front yard and a photo in the local newspaper.

“We’ve gotten calls from people saying, ‘Haven’t you seen mine?’” says club Secretary Allan Olson. “There’s even a real rivalry in some areas.”

For three months, weekly winners are chosen. At summer’s end, the Kiwanians selects the best residence and best block of the year and plans festivities at the winning locations.

“We were very honored to receive it,” says Ken Botschatzke, who lives on 2013’s block of the year. “There was a bagpiper, and the mayor was here. We even had a march and followed the piper, followed by coffee and refreshments.” — Karen Pyle Trent