AIB Winners Are Coming To Indiana

August 27, 2004 - 12:21

The time is growing near for the 2004 winners of the America In Bloom program to be announced. This year the event will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., last year’s winner, on October 7-9 with a number of exciting events in tow for attendees to help bring their communities together in a beautification process.

Even if there is a community that has not participated yet, they are welcome to the event and discover what America in Bloom is all about and how their community can get involved in this countrywide contest of planting pride in communities.

There are exciting educational sessions and tours to learn about Indianapolis’ recent award-winning greening and beautification efforts. The variety of tours will take visitors to the sites that helped Indianapolis win America in Bloom last year. Educational sessions will be presented by experts sharing their expertise, providing take-home knowledge of how to implement winning strategies in the community.

The following is the preliminary agenda of educational sessions:

Making History Current.Two Indianapolis institutions share their horticultural legacies and challenges with attendees.

Blood, Sweat and Tears.How to Win an AIB Award: Hear the steps explained by a panel of those in the know that include an AIB judge, a past winner and a 2004 hopeful.

Greening Your City with Trees – One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Learn how Indiana communities of all sizes manage their urban forestry programs.

Kids, Bugs and Green Stuff. How to Provide Nature’s Resources on School Grounds: A how-to primer for collaborations with schools and volunteers to create a schoolyard habitat.

Where the Wild Thing Could Be. Learn how an Indiana town became one of the first nationally accredited wildlife habitats.

Beauty in the Fast Lane. Learn how to solicit corporate sponsors and volunteers to adopt medians within your community. A case study of three cities.

Dunk the Junk. A Tell-all for Ridding Your Community of Litter: Learn guidelines to conduct successful litter clean-ups in your community.

From Pavement to Paradise. Learn how a parking lot gave way to a new public garden, providing changeable, educational and aesthetic displays.

How to Get a Grant, From the Grantee’s Perspective. Discover a step-by-step process for finding the right grants for your community’s needs and successfully completing it.

From Trash to Cash. Learn how an Indianapolis landfill uses the methane gas created by refuse to fuel an on-site greenhouse.

Mow No Mo’. Learn the advantages of converting turf areas within your public spaces to native plantings.

Gains from Drains. An environmental engineer discusses how to overcome the challenges of wetland mitigation in an urban environment, making storm water runoff a community asset.

It’s a Beautiful Thing — Let Visitors Get in on the Fun. Discover how to garner resources for community-wide enhancement projects, while utilizing your community’s visitors.

Flower Power and Other Remedies for Pests Learn how using flowers in urban landscapes pays off in more than one-way.

Don’t Strike Out, Play it Safe. Discover guidelines for establishing green and safe spaces for your active-use areas and athletic fields.

Additional educational session topics may also be offered.

Tours will include:

Sewers, Garbage, Industrial Fields and Other Scenic Spots. Tour some of Indianapolis’ environmental challenges and see how landfills, sewers, pollution run-off and a coal field have been recycled into habitats for birds and wildlife, fuel for greenhouse operations, native plant communities and other community assets.

The Liberal Arts Tour — History, Literature and Beautiful Restorations. Visit Indianapolis’ oldest neighborhood dotted with small, quaint gardens and the home of James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier Poet. Then, on to a school planting project, an esplanade and fountain restoration project within a 20th century literary community, a Main Street development and a riverbank restoration. The tour concludes with a brief history of Indianapolis’ urban planning and public art.

Parks, Gardens, Fine Art and Ecology. Tour scenic office parks on the way to the 4th largest city park in the country. Other stops will include community garden tours, a step back in time to the American Country Place Era at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, reviewing the grand landscapes of early Indianapolis industrialists, and a brief stop at the city’s highest point within Crown Hill cemetery, home of over 100 tree species and the largest tree canopy within the inner city.

You Can Get There From Here – Walking Tour. Put on your walking shoes and follow the Old National Road through some of the attractions in the White River State Park, along the Canal Walk, and to the USS Indianapolis memorial (about 1.5 miles). Then board a bus to see a sidewalk cleaning demonstration, a tour of the city’s oldest park and home of a sunken garden and conservatory, and finally, the award-winning Tornado Turnaround tree planting initiative.

Greenways and Gardens. Trek along the Monon Trail, part of a greenway network that links nearly all parts of the city, to Marott Park (about .5 mile). Marott Park will provide an example of invasive species eradication efforts. Board the bus for Holliday Park, site of Orchard in Bloom, a large fund-raising event that features beautiful outdoor gardens, visit the Nature Center, then off to a community garden, a farmer’s market and a native plant landscape which reclaimed an old coal field.

All of the educational programs lead up to Saturday night’s grand finale — the awards ceremony. This is when America in Bloom celebrates the community. All of the hard work will be recognized as the best of the best are crowned the best of the best.

For more information or updated details about the event visit www.americainbloom.org.

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