Celebrate community improvement initiatives at the sixth annual America In Bloom (AIB) symposium and awards program Sept. 27-29, in Rockford, Ill. AIB encourages nationwide beautification programs, personal and community involvement, educational programs and the challenge of a friendly competition among participating communities across the country.
Those interested in building civic pride in their communities are invited to attend the symposium. Speakers and learning tours will provide take-home ideas on how to bring together the municipal, commercial and residential sectors in a united manner to improve communities.
The 3-day program will begin on Thursday with the announcement of the eight “best of the best” awards in each of the AIB criteria: community involvement, floral displays, landscaped areas, environmental awareness, urban forestry, heritage preservation, turf and groundcover areas, and tidiness.
Attendees will meet with teams of judges on Friday morning to share and learn what cities of their size are doing to improve their communities. This opportunity is one of the most popular events during the symposium.
Douglas Hoerr, an award-winning architect, will present the keynote presentation on Friday. Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agency Director, Douglas Scott, will give Saturday’s keynote presentation.
Concurrent sessions will be offered on Saturday about recycling, developing youth leaders through gardening, the art of collaboration, working with local media, recruiting volunteers and how to have success in the AIB program. Afternoon tours on both days will provide on-site visits that use Rockford as a laboratory to discuss the AIB criteria. Tour participants will learn about heritage preservation, creating lush landscapes, environmental protection, park development, recycling, sports turf management, green roofs, grants and public art.
The symposium ends with the gala banquet and awards program in which all cities are recognized and winners are announced in each of the population categories.
The deadline to register for the AIB symposium is Sept. 15. For more information, visit www.americainbloom.org .