America in Bloom

1 / 9
Community involvement and community pride are byproducts of entering America in bloom's beautification contest.
2 / 9
Beautification and community involvement are key to America in Bloom's contest.
3 / 9
America in Bloom
4 / 9
Kirdwood, Missouri received special mention for its community involvement during the 2007 America in Bloom contest.
5 / 9
Richmond, Kentucky, particpated in the 2008 America in Bloom contest, and judges noted the community's turf and groundcover areas for special mention.
6 / 9
Buffalo, Minnesota, won the 2007 America in Bloom contest in the 10,001-15,000 population category, with special mention on the city's environmental awareness.
7 / 9
its turf and groundcover areas were of special interest when judges visited Tipp City, Ohio, during the 2008 America in Bloom contest.
8 / 9
During the 2008 America in Bloom contest, Toledo, Ohio, won in the 100,001-1,000,000 population category, with special mention given to the city's heritage preservation.
9 / 9
A 2007 winner int he America in Bloom contest, Rockford, Illinois, received special mention of its floral displays.

Promoting beautification programs with community involvement is what the America in Bloom organization is all about. The group’s annual contest is just around the corner, and the registration deadline is February 28. Participating towns and cities receive benefits ranging from making the town a better place to live, work, play and visit, to increased civic pride to increased property values.

Learn all about America in Bloom, get help organizing your town’s participation efforts, and also check out the registration process at the website. A list of towns or cities that have already signed up also is posted on the site. Registration fees are on a sliding scale based on population size.

America in Bloom is an independent, nonprofit 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. The organization provides educational programs, resources, and the challenge of a friendly competition between participating communities across the country.

Between May and August, judges spend two days in each town consulting with residents. They develop an extensive written evaluation that provides feedback on where towns excel and suggestions for further initiatives. To date, participants include more than 170 towns and cities from 38 states. For some towns, the annual America in Bloom competition has become a way of life, as volunteers look forward to working together on visible improvements.

Winners in 2009 included Echo, Oregon; Charles City, Iowa; River Falls, Wisconsin; Collierville, Tennessee; Lompoc Valley, California; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“I’m excited about the 2010 program because we have assembled the best team of experienced, professional judges in the history of the program,” says Jack Clasen, contest chairman and AIB board member. “In fact, registrations to date have exceeded those in past years, and we’re looking forward to a challenging and exciting competition. Our towns and cities raise the bar of excellence every year.”

To register, go to the America in Bloom website.