As part of Washington’s participation in the 2012 America in Bloom (AIB) program, the city will sponsor a yard of the month contest again this year.

The city and local AIB committee are seeking entries for this year’s contest, which runs from May through October. An overall winner will be named in November.

Entry forms can be obtained at the Washington Parks Office, 1220 S. Lakeshore Drive or Hillermann Nursery & Florist, 2601 E. Fifth St.

Forms also can be downloaded from the city’s website, by clicking on “America & Washington in Bloom” on the left side of the page.

Once the form is filled out, residents can mail it to or drop it off at Washington City Hall, 405 Jefferson St., Washington, MO 63090.

Once a resident has entered, that yard will be considered for the monthly prizes for the entire length of the contest.

There were about 50 entries in last year’s contest.

This marks the second year for Washington to participate in the AIB program.

Last October, the city received the “Community Involvement” award.

Local AIB committee members said being recognized with that distinction during the city’s first year participating was as exhilarating as it was humbling.

They said it showed that businesses and residents genuinely care about their properties and devote so much time to service organizations and betterment projects.

The city and its employees were tremendous assets in sprucing up different sites throughout town, committee members said, adding that it was an exciting and successful endeavor.

Community Book

A community profile book called “Washington in Bloom” highlighting the city’s participation in the AIB program is on sale at Schroeder Drugs, the engineering department at Washington City Hall, the city parks office and the landscape department at Hillermann Nursery & Florist.

The book includes information and photos about Washington’s heritage, landscaped areas, floral displays, urban forestry, 2011 yard of the month winners and a thumbnail sketch of the city’s parks.

America in Bloom T-shirts are available, too.

The books are $15 each the shirts are $10 each, but people can purchase one of each at the same time for only $20.