Top honors for the prestigious 2019 America in Bloom National Awards Program were announced at the annual symposium and awards celebration held in St. Charles, Illinois on October 5.
Estes Park was the winner of the 10,000-12,000 population category. Other communities in that population category were Coshocton, OH; Lawrenceburg, KY; and Yazoo City, MS. Estes Valley also received special recognition for its flowers. Douglas Airhart & Melanie Riggs, AIB judges, spent two days in the summer touring the community, meeting municipal officials, residents, and volunteers.
All participants were evaluated on seven criteria: overall impression, community vitality, environmental efforts, heritage celebration, urban forestry, landscaped areas, and flowers. Additionally, they were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.
America in Bloom executive director, Laura Kunkle, said, “America in Bloom is helping communities of all sizes achieve their potential. Every year our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year's group is remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live and visit.”
To date, more than 260 communities from 43 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Registrations for the 2020 national awards program can be submitted until February 28, 2020. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.
America in Bloom is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. America in Bloom provides educational programs, resources, and the challenge of a friendly competition between participating communities across the country.