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
Cannabis Structure

June 28, 2017

How Will Potential Cannabis Legalization Affect You? Co…

The Canadian government released a report late last year that highlights what cannabis legalization might mean for producers.

Read More
Investing in Good Cannabis Equipment Delta T

June 28, 2017

5 Factors to Consider When Expanding Into Cannabis

When you take a long-term approach to planning, budgeting, and equipping an indoor growing operation, you build more efficiency — and profits — into it.

Read More
Steve Garvey, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

June 27, 2017

Steve Garvey is a Finalist for the 2017 Head Grower of …

Winner of the Excellence in Quality Award, Steve Garvey has become relentless in looking for the next new thing to improve quality in every aspect of production, from growing to shipping to marketing.

Read More
cuttings-facility

June 27, 2017

New Pilot Project for Offshore Unrooted Plant Cutting C…

Four breeders — Ball Horticultural Co., Dümmen Orange, Proven Winners, and Syngenta Flowers — will participate in the initial pilot, which will include greenhouse growing operations in six Latin American countries.

Read More
Allan Armitage Citizenship

June 26, 2017

Allan Armitage Describes His Path to Citizenship

In between offering his take on new varieties and gardening trends, Allan Armitage and his wife Susan recently became proud citizens of the U.S.

Read More
Metrolina Greenhouses Dig and Swig Event

June 25, 2017

Consumers Revel in Gardening at Metrolina Greenhouses’ …

Metrolina wanted to promote plants, gardening, and creating a sense of community, so it decided to host Dig & Swig events at a local brewery.

Read More
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on …

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More
Greenbelt Microgreens

June 23, 2017

Greenbelt Microgreens is a Finalist for the 2017 Operat…

Winner of the Excellence in Innovation Award, Greenbelt Microgreens is constantly staying on top of the latest trends in technology,

Read More
Ushio Sakazaki feature

June 22, 2017

Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellenc…

From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.

Read More
Koppert Ulti-Mite Swirski sachet

June 21, 2017

New Tool from Koppert Provides More Effective Thrips Ma…

A newly patented sachet for the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii is resistant to both low and high levels of humidity, helping growers combat thrips infestations.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

June 20, 2017

Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of G…

Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.

Read More

June 20, 2017

Sign Up For The Luxflora Flower Run At Cultivate’17

The5k walk/run race, sponsored by Luxflora, is an opportunity for industry members to network, build relationships, have some healthy fun, and start off Cultivate’17 with a flourish.

Read More

June 19, 2017

IGC Show Features Talks on How to Cash in on the Buy Lo…

This year’s event, which takes place Aug. 15-17 in Chicago, also includes a free workshop on what you might do when starting your business over from scratch.

Read More
SNA Logo

June 19, 2017

SNA, MANTS Plan to Co-Locate Their Events in 2018

There is crossover appeal for participants of both events, according to show organizers, and this cooperation will bring value and potential new business opportunities for both audiences.

Read More
Heat Safety App

June 18, 2017

Protect Your Employees from Heat-Related Illnesses with…

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released an updated app for smart phones that can help workers stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather.

Read More
Visser Autostix

June 17, 2017

Visser, Ball Partner on New Sticking Technology for Cut…

The new AutoStix system is designed to provide better consistency and uniformity with shipped cuttings, easier and more reliable counting, automatic transplanting, and optional buffering in the peak season.

Read More
sbi-software-triumph

June 16, 2017

Five Guidelines to Investing in Software for Your Green…

Any software improvement you make should make sense for your team and be worth the investment.

Read More
EOE-featureimage2017

June 15, 2017

Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Evening Of Excellence Will Rec…

Registration is now open for the 2017 Greenhouse Grower Evening Of Excellence, which takes place Monday, July 17, during Cultivate’17.

Read More