Year four brings a big growth spurt to America in Bloom (AIB), with 49 communities participating in the national beautification competition from coast to coast. AIB is a campaign and contest that promotes enhancing communities through beautification. In the friendly competition, communities are matched by population and evaluated on their efforts related to floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage conservation and community involvement. Before this year, the highest number of entrants was 38 in 2002.
“This year, the America in Bloom participating cities have blossomed to 49,” says AIB’s Contest and Symposium Chair Alex Pearl. “From the smallest, Elfin Forest, Calif. (population 800), to the largest, New York City (population 8 million), cities are demonstrating the multigenerational pride they have for their community. The vibrancy of communities is exhibited through the unlimited opportunity of the eight evaluation criteria.”
Judges will visit communities this spring and summer and the results will be announced at the awards symposium planned for Sept. 8-10, 2005 in Cleveland, Ohio. The AIB communities of Northeast Ohio will host the 2005 awards symposium. Within a 60-mile radius of Cleveland, there have been 17 AIB participants, including past population category winners - Akron, Brecksville, Berea, Sandusky and Westlake.
To date, AIB is has engaged more than 110 communities in 30 states. Registration deadline for the 2005 contest was February 28. Of the 49 entrants, 29 are new and 20 have participated before. Here is a complete list of the entrants by population grouping: