If you live within five hours of Rockford, Ill., and think your market could benefit from beautiful civic plantings, you should definitely plan on attending the Sixth Annual America In Bloom Symposium and Awards Program, Sept. 27-29.
To date America In Bloom (AIB) has engaged about 150 towns of all sizes in more than 30 states from coast to coast. Many growers and garden center retailers have played a leadership role. While some have become local heroes, others are more quiet and behind the scenes in their participation. Although flowers are the most noticeable component, AIB really is a comprehensive civic revitalization program encompassing eight key criteria.
The program has been a great way to celebrate towns that already do a great job, as well as get new programs started. Once a local In Bloom program is planted, the commitment to plantings grows each year. It’s not unheard of for a town with no hanging baskets to have 50 within three years. The positive momentum is contagious and spills over to businesses, residences and neighboring communities.
Most of us would agree that although our industry is national (even international), our markets are local. The best way to grow your local market is to stimulate interest in plantings and make them top of mind. We need to surround the public with beautiful plants.
The AIB symposium will feature the best local experts from Rockford and the Chicago area, along with veteran AIB participants and judges. Nine local tours give a first-hand look at what is possible to achieve in a public setting. The goal is learning and networking and everyone takes home great, actionable ideas.
For more information about AIB, visit www.americainbloom.org. The deadline for early registration rates is this Saturday!