Des Rockford, Ill., was the beacon of civic pride last week when the city hosted the Sixth Annual America In Bloom Awards Symposium & Awards Program, Sept. 27-29. Nearly 300 people gathered to share ideas and celebrate this year’s civic efforts.
America In Bloom (AIB) is a national campaign and contest that promotes enhancing communities through beautification. In the friendly competition, communities are matched by population and evaluated on their efforts related to floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage conservation and community involvement. Judges visited the communities over the summer.
Thirty communities from all regions of the country participated in this year’s competition. Population category winners include:
- 5,000 or less–Frankenmuth, Mich.
- 5,001-10,000–St. Clairsville, Ohio
- 10,001-15,000–Buffalo, Minn.
- 15,001-25,000–Red Wing, Minn.
- 25,001-50,000–Beloit, Wisc.
- 50,001-100,000–Ocala, Fla.
- 100,001-300,000–Rockford, Ill.
Eight special awards were presented to communities which received high marks out of all contestants in all population categories. Winning communities include:
- Ball Horticultural Co. Floral Displays Award–Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
- Meister Media Worldwide Heritage Preservation Award–Norwich, Conn.
- Project Evergreen Landscaped Areas Award–Beloit, Wisc.
- American Horticultural Society Community Involvement Award–Kirkwood, Mo.
- The Scotts Co. Turf & Groundcover Areas Award–Peoria, Ariz.
- Gardens Alive! Environmental Awareness Award–Red Wing, Minn.
- Lesco/John Deere Landscapes Tidiness Award–Greendale, Ind.
- J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Urban Forestry Award–Ithaca, N.Y.
To find out more about America In Bloom and how you can get your city involved next year, visit www.americainbloom.org.