America in Bloom
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America In Bloom (AIB) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which promotes community enhancement programs through the use of flowers, plants, and trees. America in Bloom sponsors an annual nationwide competition between participating communities throughout the United States  and provides related educational programs. Communities receive top overall awards, based on their size. Within the entire body of participants, outstanding communities are also cited for their achievements in the areas of floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, overall impression, and community involvement. Additional special awards vary each year and relate to a specific noteworthy community feature. Examples of these include: Most Attractive Naturalistic Landscape, Most Dynamic Transformation of a Downtown Streetscape, Most Beautiful Canopy of Trees, Public Art that Celebrates the Heritage of the Community, Best Program for Engaging Youth in their Community, Best Container Display, or Most Innovative Environmental Initiative Involving Water Conservation. For special awards entrants compete against all participating communities regardless of size.
- 1 Description of the organization
- 2 America in Bloom 2015 population category award winners (population ranges vary each year)
- 3 America in Bloom 2015 outstanding achievement award winners
- 4 Some previous winners (with reference to their AIB awards)
- 5 Organizational honors
- 6 Board of directors
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Description of the organization
The organization was founded in 2002 and modeled after long-standing programs in Europe: Ireland (Tidy Towns) Britain (Britain in Bloom and Regions) Scotland (Beautiful Scotland), Italy (Comune Fiorito), and originally France (Villes et Villages Fleuris), as well as Australia (Australia Tidy Town Awards) and Canada (Communities in Bloom). The US organization has grown to embrace 235 participating cities in 40 states and touches more than 22 million lives.
America in Bloom is a grass-roots urban renewal program which provides a framework and is a catalyst for community organizations to work together for visible improvements. It offers one-on-one mentoring to participating communities and provides an extensive written evaluation detailing recommended improvements and enhancements. Its website provides educational materials related to the benefits of quality landscapes and more..
Through its national awards and mentoring program, AIB helps towns harness untapped energy, talent, and resources to champion greening, enhance environmental awareness, promote economic development, and improve quality of life.
The AIB program is designed to bring people from every demographic together to create meaningful, visible, constructive projects, by combining efforts of residents, businesses, and local government. These groups work on common goals in areas including: floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, overall impression and community involvement.
Eligible program entrants include towns, communities, cities, neighborhoods of large cities, business districts, military bases, and college campuses. Due to the numerous cases of consistent community involvement since 2002, in 2015 a new category, "Circle of Champions", was created for those participants that won repeatedly in the past. The 2015 Circle of Champion Winners were Holland, MI (mid-sized city category) and Lewes, DE (small city category).
America in Bloom 2015 population category award winners (population ranges vary each year)
- Combined Locks, WI - less than 3,500 inhabitants
- Lewisburg, WV - 3,500 to 6,000
- Morro Bay, CA - 6,000 to 12,500
- Holliston, MA - 12,500 to 16,000
- Fairhope, AL - 16,000 to 20,000
- Venice, FL - 20,000 to 30,000
- Saratoga, CA - 30,000 to 40,000
- Lexington, KY - more than 40,000
America in Bloom 2015 outstanding achievement award winners
- Edmonston, MD - environmental efforts
- Estes Park, CO - landscaped areas
- Fairhope, AL - urban forestry
- Holland, MI - floral displays
- Ottawa, IL - community involvement
- Santa Paula, CA - heritage preservation
- Winter Park, FL - overall impression
Some previous winners (with reference to their AIB awards)
- America in Bloom was named to the 2010 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, by the American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association Leadership in Washington, D.C.
- America in Bloom's Best Ideas book was nominated for the prestigious American Horticultural Society National Book Award. The book describes more than 2000 easy to implement projects and best practices of participating towns and cities.
Board of directors
America in Bloom is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors:
- Bobby Barnitz, Bob's Market & Greenhouses
- Drew Becher
- Dr. Jack Clasen
- Marshall Dirks - Proven Winners
- Tony Ferrara - former mayor, Arroyo Grande, CA
- Dale Fisher, Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens
- Dr. Charlie Hall - Texas A & M University
- Linda Hart, Holland Visitors Bureau
- Walter Heath
- Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
- John Manchester, mayor, City of Lewisburg
- Dr. Marvin N. Miller - Ball Horticultural Company
- Leslie Pittenger, City of Belpre
- Katy Moss Warner - President Emeritus, American Horticultural Society
- Diana Weiner
- Laura Kunkle - Executive Director, AIB
- "Mission - America in Bloom". Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Participants - Current and Past - America in Bloom". Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Butterfield, Billy (Aug 12, 2011). "America in Bloom judge was wowed by Holland". The Holland Sentinel. Holland, MI. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "About AIB". America in Bloom. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "America in Bloom Winners Announced". Greenhouse Product News. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "America in Bloom announces 2011 communities". Lawn & Landscape. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- America in Bloom, Official Web site
- "Westfield earns 4-bloom rating from America In Bloom". NJ.com. 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Westfield takes top honors in America in Bloom competition". NJ.com. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2012-03-03.