We Can Be Heroes

Several of the growers who have been active getting their cities involved in America In Bloom (AIB) have become local heroes. It wasn’t the reason they got involved but a very pleasant and rewarding surprise.

AIB is a national campaign and contest that promotes enhancing and revitalizing communities through horticulture. In five years, nearly 130 cities in more than 30 states have participated, and both wholesale and retail growers have played a strong role building the program.

In Logan, Ohio, near Ohio University, Rick Webb of Webb Perennials has led the town’s participation the last three years. Prior to that he had been supplying 25-inch hanging baskets in town to a local foundation that purchased them. Master Gardeners and the tourism board really embraced the program.

Webb became chief cheerleader and organizer. The response from volunteers was so strong Logan received AIB’s criteria award for community involvement sponsored by American Horticultural Society both this year and last. Webb is often interviewed in local media and when he speaks at local meetings, he gets a standing ovation. He also received the town’s Barton Hall Award, which recognizes a citizen of the year. But the best results are the ones everyone can see — plantings have doubled in three years.

Also in Ohio, Bob’s Market & Greenhouse sponsored the city of Gallipolis, which won AIB’s floral displays criteria award sponsored by Ball Horticultural Co. Plug production manager Lori Kelly, who also manages two of the retail stores, led the city’s participation with the retail merchants association, which purchased lamppost baskets planted and maintained by Bob’s Market.

The grower donated $5,000 worth of plants this year. In addition to the baskets and urns Bob’s maintains, volunteer groups planted adopted sites.

Ron Marlin of Marlin’s Plant Kingdom in Greenfield, Ind., is thrilled his city won its population category in 2004 and then again as it moved up to the next category in 2006. Marlin leases 24-inch pots that are changed out in spring and fall to businesses in town. The vice president of the chamber of commerce from one of the local banks championed the cause with him. While he paid the entry fee in 2004, the local Rotary did in 2006. Last year he worked with fellow grower Joe Boarini of Grande Greenhouse to organize a local contest showcasing the best front yards to pull plantings out into view.

Also in Indiana, Columbus made a strong debut, winning one of the most competitive population categories, as well as AIB’s landscaping criteria award sponsored by Project Evergreen. The grower-retailer behind the scenes is Gordon Elsbury of Elsbury Greenhouses. He had been supplying plants to the city parks department for 20 years and brought a busload of local officials and employees to Ball’s field days to get them excited about participating in AIB. The group was treated to a special welcome by AIB’s president Marvin Miller, also from Ball.

Each community is different in how it approaches AIB. Ideal organizing partners include city governments, parks and recreation departments, chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, Master Gardeners, chapters of Keep America Beautiful and tree commissions.

If you think your town would embrace this program, now is the time to approach your civic leaders and community champions. Registration deadline for the 2007 competition is Feb. 28. For more information on how you can get your city involved, visit www.americainbloom.org.

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Variet…

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Gage Willey

August 17, 2017

Shinoda Scholar of the Year is Aiming for a Long Career…

Gage Willey, a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Greenhouse/Nursery Production. His goal is to own a production and retail nursery.

Read More
AFE Scholarship Video

August 16, 2017

Looking to Host an Intern This Year? Consider AFE’s Sch…

The American Floral Endowment is accepting applications for its Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program until Oct 1. Interested companies can apply anytime to become a host employer.

Read More
Delta T Devices WET Sensor in Space

August 15, 2017

Greenhouse Environmental Sensor is Truly “Out of This W…

Delta-T’s multi-parameter WET Sensor has been used by Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong-2 Space Lab to cultivate lettuce plants within the weightless atmosphere.

Read More
griffin-expo

August 15, 2017

Griffin Becomes Newest Distributor for Master Nursery G…

The agreement allows Griffin to join Master Nursery’s network of more than 150 supplier partners, while giving Master Nursery access to new product and service options for member businesses in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

Read More
Tal Coley, AmericanHort Director of Government Affairs

August 15, 2017

AmericanHort Has a New Director of Government Affairs

Tal Coley, a U.S. Air Force veteran who has an extensive background in issues advocacy, will play an active role in AmericanHort’s upcoming Impact Washington event in September.

Read More
Recyclable Horticulture Plastic Containers

August 15, 2017

How to Know Which Plastic Containers You Can Recycle

Michigan State University’s Garrett Owen offers tips to help you properly dispose of plastic containers, flats, and trays.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 15, 2017

Why Consumers May Be More Interested in Plants Than You…

A visit to a local lavender event is a reminder that when you tap into something consumers are excited about and want to experience, the reward can be long-lasting,

Read More
Three Sections of Vineland Research Centre

August 14, 2017

Canadian Greenhouse Conference Features Focus on Techno…

This year’s Canadian Greenhouse Conference kicks off on October 4, and there is no shortage of presentations devoted to how growers can implement new technology in their greenhouses.

Read More
Youngs Greenhouse Space Growing Feature

August 14, 2017

How Young’s Plant Farm Invests in New Structures and Eq…

The Auburn, AL-based Top 100 Grower operation is improving its production infrastructure so it can continue to efficiently produce quality plants and keep up with demand.

Read More
HOVE International Rolling benches on concrete

August 11, 2017

Greenhouse Bench Systems Designed to Handle Any Space

HOVE bench systems from HOVE International can accommodate multiple levels while allowing for run-off water collection.

Read More
DTH 800 (Link4 Corporation)-feature

August 10, 2017

New Sensors Can Help You Manage Your Greenhouse Crop 24…

The wrong environmental conditions in your greenhouse can potentially lead to significant crop loss. Here’s how sensor technology manufacturers are helping you safeguard your greenhouse.

Read More
LED toplighting, Runkle - feature

August 9, 2017

Lighting Technology Under the Microscope at Production …

Here’s a sneak preview of three lighting trends that will be discussed by Erik Runkle at the Production Technology Conference.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Vestaron

Vestaron’s Spear insecticides carry labels for control of thrips, white flies and spider mites on both greenhouse ornamentals and greenhouse vegetables.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Bayer

Bayer’s Altus insecticide can be used before, during and after bloom to control whiteflies, aphids and other sucking pests on a wide range of ornamental pests.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Jiffy

Jiffy’s orchid plug propagation system has been shown to deliver production time savings from 25% to 40% as the uniform substrate stimulates fibrous root growth throughout the plug.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Stockosorb

Stockosorb’s 660 is the company’s most advanced hydrogel product. It is easy to apply and it provides consistent soil moisture to minimize growers’ watering requirements and reduce shrink.

Read More