Planting Pride

The seventh America In Bloom (AIB) symposium and awards gala had a homecoming feel with the big event hosted by OFA in Columbus, Ohio. OFA–An Association of Floriculture Professionals, provides the home and staffing for the nonprofit organization.

AIB is a national campaign and contest that promotes enhancing and revitalizing communities. In the friendly competition, communities are matched by population and evaluated on their efforts related to eight criteria: floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness and heritage. 

The symposium, Oct. 2-4, kicked off with a pep-rally inspired reception, where all attendees were encouraged to show their community spirit. That night, special criteria awards were presented to eight communities representing the “best of the best” in America In Bloom’s judging criteria. Look inside to see which communities won these coveted awards on page 7.

The next two days were packed with educational seminars, networking opportunities and tours of private, community and public gardens in Columbus. The grand finale was the awards banquet Saturday night, when the population winners were revealed and each community was recognized for its strength.

Thank you, OFA, for a wonderful event! The registration deadline for the 2009 program is Feb. 28. For more information about AIB, contact (614) 487-1117 or visit www.americainbloom.org. Let’s get more cities involved! Plant pride and watch your community grow.

Click on the stories below for more on population winners and nominees.

Preserving History: Greendale, Indiana

A Natural Beauty: North Manchester, Indiana

Like Old Times: Greendale, Wisconsin

Costal Cleanliness: Stuart, Florida

Bubbling With Enthusiasm, West Lafayette, Indiana

Hoggin’ The Spotlight: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Holy Toledo: Toledo, Ohio

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