America in Bloom’s motto of “Plant Pride in Your Community” has really taken hold of the Washington community, said Mayor Sandy Lucy.

“ I think that Washington is a community with a lot of pride,” Lucy said. “Our citizens care about our community and the appearance of our community. America in Bloom gives us the opportunity to add a little more punch to the community by adding plantings and enhancing gardening and landscaping.”

As projects are completed, she said people notice how neat and clean things look. Additionally, the cleanliness and appearance of the town is a benefit to those thinking about having a business or relocating to Washington.

“This reaches way beyond having a lovely garden,” she said.

This is Washington’s second year of participating in America in Bloom, which promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.


Lucy said that the AIB projects promote camaraderie between various groups.

Committee member Dave Wehmeyer agreed that teamwork is vital.

In the past year, a planting was installed near the city pool by the Washington Fair Board.

Additionally, a group of Franklin County master gardeners planted gardens at the newly renovated library.

The Bernie E. Hillermann park planter with a sign was redone by Hillermann’s Nursery & Florist.

Plants at the time capsule garden by the Waterworks Building on the riverfront were purchased with proceeds from the Plant Geek Night held at Hillermann. Old plants were taken out by Councilman Steve Sullentrup and new plants were installed by Dave Wehmeyer and John Steffens.

Downtown Washington Inc., with the help of volunteers, planted a garden during “Keep Washington Beautiful Day” in early June. The garden is being cared for by the downtown post office staff and supporters.

Members of the Washington FFA laid mulch at Phoenix Park.

Washington Town and Country Fair queen candidates planted at the “Welcome to Washington” sign Friday, July 6.

Other individual projects and plantings also have taken place.

“This has been a tough season because of the dry conditions,” Lucy said. “But people who have gardens at their homes and places of businesses are dedicated to taking care of them.”

A workday was held Monday, July 9.

America in Bloom judges will tour Washington Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17.