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MB CiB Judges

Don Budinsky

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Don Budinsky retired from the City of Winnipeg in 2008 after working 32 years in a variety of parks and recreation positions. For the last 14 years he was the Manager of the Parks and Open Space Division and led a talented group of professionals providing park, urban forestry, horticulture, naturalist/environmental, and landscape development services.

Don and his team forged over 200 community partnerships and worked with those groups to develop and improve the City’s park system including: renewed public gardens, expanded and improved street flower plantings, athletic fields, natural areas, playgrounds, urban forest and park amenities. There are over 1000 parks and open spaces in the city and more than 2 million public trees including 280,000 street trees. Don was in charge of the Parks Division’s 35-million-dollar annual operating budget and a 5-million-dollar annual capital budget.

Don’s education included a bachelor of physical education, a certificate in education, both from the University of Manitoba and a certificate of parks and recreation studies from Assiniboine Community College. Continuing education was gained through attending numerous local and national seminars and conferences and participating in organizations including the Manitoba Parks and Recreation Association, the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, Communities in Bloom and the Red River College Greenspace Management Advisory Committee.

Michelle Balharry

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Michelle is employed by The Selkirk Record and is very active in Selkirk’s Communities in Bloom committee. She is a Master Gardener and a member of the Selkirk & District Horticultural Club.

Michelle sits on the Selkirk Biz Board of Directors which has been successful in many business initiatives such as the Selkirk Biz Black Friday Weekend and Rodeo Days. This is Michelle’s second year of judging for MB CiB!

Jamie Chavez

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Jaime is a Landscape Horticulturist currently working at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. He’s worked in many areas of commercial & residential landscaping, horticultural retailing and a range of gardening projects across Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

After completing a Red Seal Certification for Landscape Horticulture, Jaime went on to obtain a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy through the Chicago Botanic Garden and Oakton Community College in Chicago. He currently serves as a board member for the Landscape Horticulturist Provincial Advisory Committee, where he helps to promote technical training and development for the Landscape Horticulturist trade.

In addition to his work endeavors, Jaime also volunteers with the Manitoba Nursery Landscape Association on the Professional Development Committee. Last year Jaime participated in the installation of MosaïCanada 150 in Gatineau, Quebec, an exhibition organized by Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal which had more than 1 million visitors in 2017. The event hosted more than 30 plant-based sculptures, representing the provinces and territories of Canada.

Shirley Kalyniuk

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Shirley served on the Rossburn council as a councillor for 10 years and Mayor for 11 years. While on council she dealt with many issues concerning trees, environmental and has an avid interest in Manitoba heritage. She was born and raised on a farm and has always loved nature and beauty around us.

Shirley serves on the Board of Directors for MB CiB and this is her second year as a judge.

Kelley Liebzeit

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Kelley has been gardening for 30 years. In 2015 her garden was on the Master Gardener and Nature Manitoba Garden Tour. She became Naturescape Certified by Fort Whyte which lead to a keen interest of birds, butterflies and native Manitoba trees, shrubs. and plants.

She helped with the design and plants at the Whyte Ridge Butterfly Garden which she manages today and was instrumental in choosing the native trees and shrubs which are along the Whyte Ridge Interpretive Trail.

Kelley resides in Lac Du Bonnet. She lives on 80 acres of mostly forest and her aim is to plant all native trees and plants to enhance her property and to make a habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. She is a Master Gardener, Naturescape Certified, Monarch Watch Certified, North American Butterfly Association Certified.

Wendy Menzies

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Wendy has a Bachelor of Music, Permanent Teaching Certification and spent many years as a music teacher in Neepawa.  She was a member of Neepawa’s town council for 4 years where she was involved in: establishing environmental practices, obtaining grants for tree planting, riverbank stabilization projects, the development of a water treatment plant and identification of heritage homes.

She was an active member of Neepawa’s Communities in Bloom committee and helped to establish a community garden.

Rosewitha Nowak

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Rosewith is a lifelong passionate gardener who enjoys her small yard and growing plants that require more of a challenge.  She taught grades 1 – 8 in the Seven Oaks School Division for over 40 years.

Professional activities range from editor of Manitoba Math Journal and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics editorial panel. She has been on the executive of E.K. Garden Club, Manitoba Orchid Society, Manitoba Association of Math Teachers and the W.K. H.S. Autism committee for 7 Oaks School Division..

Presently Rosewith is serving as vice-president and public relations for the West Kildonan Horticultural Society.Content goes here

Kaaren Pearce

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Kaaren is a formally trained Horticulturalist and Certified Arborist who started her career as an Estate and Base Gardener in Alberta. She has worked for many different garden centers, nurseries, and golf courses. Throughout her professional career, she designed residential, commercial and industrial spaces as well as indoor and outdoor playgrounds, horticultural therapy gardens and school yard naturalizations. Kaaren wrote a curriculum for using these spaces for the Ontario Government in which horticulture was used as a tool to work with street youth to aid in getting them off the street and back on track.

Kaaren spent many years working with Greenroofs and living walls, patented her own system and installed and maintained over 20 living roofs. She has been a consultant on hundreds of projects including the McCormick Building in Boston, where the green roof was used to phytoremediate (clean) the boiler water from a 1920s art deco building.

Today, Kaaren is the Director, Grounds for Assiniboine Park Conservancy where she is responsible for overseeing general grounds maintenance requirements including areas such as turf, urban forestry, snow removal, irrigation systems, custodial services, natural areas management, park amenities and waste management in the Park. She also manages the Park’s environmental program and provide support to special events and Zoo horticulture including the landscape for the Journey to Churchill.

Shawna Phillips

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Shawna belonged to the Killarney Garden Club for thirteen years and has been an active member of the Killarney Turtle Mountain Communities in Bloom for the past fifteen years.

She has been a Director on the Manitoba Communities in Bloom Board of Directors for 8 years and is thrilled to be working with such a dedicated and enthusiastic team. This is her eighth-year judging and she enjoys visiting the many Manitoba communities who share the same vision.

Shawna worked in health care as a Capital Planning Assistant. She acquired the skills necessary to be a planner/organizer and the computer skills for drafting the plant drawings and preparing the documents necessary for ordering the plant material for the town. Shawna has a keen interest in environmental issues particularly at the home level, focusing on what each person can do, one step at a time.

Shawna’s hobbies and interests include volunteer work at her church, gardening, cooking, travelling and when she is south for the winter months she enjoys building houses in Mexico with her husband and gardening in a completely different climate.

Wilbert Ronald

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Wilbert (BSc Horticulture, MSc, PhD) specialized in Plant Breeding and Botany, Genetics and Nursery Management. He is the owner and manager of Jeffries Nurseries located 9 Kilometers south of Portage la Prairie.

He has worked with Agriculture Canada as a scientist and with the Morden Research Station. Wilbert is also a judge for the North American Lily Society.

Hugh Skinner

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Hugh grew up in the nursery business. He obtained a B.S.A. (Hort) from the U of M and has managed Skinner’s Nursery in Inglis, MB. Hugh completed a book, co-authored with Sara Williams, “Best Trees and Shurbs for the Prairies”, published by Fifth House Publishing and has written a manual on Integrated Pest Management for Assiniboine College.

Hugh teaches a course in Nursery Crop Production in the Prairie Horticulture Certification program and has given numerous workshops on topics related to gardening and landscaping. He has served on the board of the MB Horticultural Association, was Chairman of Crocus Trail Inc and is currently on the Board of Directors for MB Communities in Bloom. Hugh has judged for several years at the provincial and national level for Communities in Bloom.

Rebecca Sokol

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Rebecca is currently a student at Red River in the Horticulture and Greenspace management specializing in medical monocropping. She has worked as a horticulturalist since 2010 and is currently with Shaluk Garden Solutions. She has volunteered with the inner city growing program, Mama bear clan and Got Bannock.

Tanya Wiebe

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Tanya is currently the Youth Program Coordinator for Take Pride Winnipeg and has several years experience as a Community Garden Coordinator. She has participated in tree planting over a two year period and was the Jane’s Walk facilitator for Centennial Winnipeg. Tanya has enjoyed judging for the Frame Arts Warehouse.