Washington in Bloom representatives will head to the America in Bloom symposium and awards ceremony Oct. 5-7 in Holliston, Mass., in hopes of retaining the city’s five-star rating.

Last year, Washington received the highest rating, five blooms, and won its population category, Circle of Champions, medium.

The city also received a special award for most impressive pollinator garden and special recognition for landscaped areas.

Committee co-chair Sally Bocklage said Washington will receive a written report on how well the city did and places it can improve during the symposium.

The judging team members, Tony Ferrara and Barbara Vincentsen, visited Washington July 6-7 to evaluate the city for the national community competition.

Bocklage said the Washington in Bloom committee members are feeling confident after that visit, and look forward to finding out how the city fared in the competition.

“We are certainly hoping to maintain our five star ranking which is the highest a city can earn,” Bocklage said.

Washington in Bloom co-chair Dave Wehmeyer said he’s looking forward to seeing what areas in Washington can be improved.

“I’m looking forward to hearing their comments and areas to improve,” he said. “It’s always good to hear from judges and then see how we can implement their suggestions.”

Washington in Bloom representatives attending the symposium are Mayor Sandy Lucy; Parks Director Darren Dunkle; Josh Wargo, horticulturist and arborist; and John Steffens, who serves on the steering committee.

This is Washington’s seventh year as an America in Bloom participant. The city is a member of the prestigious Community of Champions, winner of the participation category in 2014 and 2016 and honored for being “the Best of the Best” in Urban Forestry in 2013 and 2014 and Community Involvement in 2011.

Judging

All participants were evaluated on six criteria, including overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas and floral displays.

Additionally, participating cities were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential and commercial sectors.

America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants.