To The Editor:
Congratulations to Washington, Mo., on your second year of participation in the America in Bloom (AIB) national awards program! Your enthusiasm is contagious, and we applaud you for all the improvements made since last year.
Two AIB judges peered through your parks, neighborhoods and business districts on July 16 and 17. All this probing was to determine and praise your community’s progress in discovering and touting its amenities and attributes; and improving the environment and the quality of life of its citizens. America in Bloom’s goal is to assist communities in becoming a destination to live, work and recreate.
America in Bloom is a community-building endeavor. The six criteria judged — Overall Impression, Environmental Effort, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscaped Areas, and Floral Displays — are designed to bring communities and people together to achieve improvements to their quality of life. The judges provide insight and consultation toward improvement, and their recommendations will be available to you in September.
AIB has involved nearly 200 towns across America. AIB offers communities sustainable solutions in view of budget-busting economies, outsourcing, mobile lifestyles and environmental trends.
The culmination of this awards program is detailed in a scoring and evaluation document presented after the awards ceremony and educational symposium, held this year in Fayetteville, Ark., from Sept. 20-22. Everyone is invited.
While top honors are awarded to those who garner the most points among the criteria, all participants are truly winners by virtue of their participation.
A healthy, functional community is like a loving extended family where each individual is valued for their intrinsic worth and contribution. A true sense of community is a thing of great beauty. For more information, check out the AIB website at www.americainbloom.org.
Our sincere thanks to Mayor Sandy Lucy, Sally Bocklage, Dave Wehmeyer, John Steffen, Marsha Riggs, and the many others who made our visit so memorable.