America in Bloom judges to visit Lewisburg

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Kristin Pategas

Professional volunteer judges from the America in Bloom (AIB) national awards program will visit Lewisburg on July 18-19.

This is Lewisburg’s sixth year as an America in Bloom participant, and it is one of the many proud and passionate communities across America working on local revitalization programs. Participants experience better cooperation among municipal, commercial, and residential sectors because everyone works toward a common goal.

Cheryl Corson

In addition to receiving a detailed written evaluation from the judges citing strengths and opportunities for improvement, participants receive a special mention for what the judges deem to be an extraordinary project or program. Additional awards that can be earned includes:

  • Population category winner
  • Outstanding achievement award – the “best of the best” over all participants in each of the evaluated criteria
  • Special awards
  • Community Champion
  • YouTube Video

Judges will be evaluating the community’s efforts in the areas of flowers, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, celebrating heritage, community vitality, and overall impression.

The judging team members are Kristin Pategas and Cheryl Corson. Kristin Pategas is a certified Landscape Designer, horticulturist, and co-owner of Hortus Oasis, a boutique landscape design firm in Winter Park, FL. Kristin and her husband, Stephen, co-authored the book Southern Coastal Home Landscaping, and together they write two local gardening columns. Kristin’s career began in 1982 when she joined the Walt Disney World Company as a plant pathologist at The Land, EPCOT. During her 18 years with Disney she also managed the Walt Disney World Nursery, developed educational programming for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, and was a Program Manager for The Disney Institute. In 2001 she joined her husband and they started their business, Hortus Oasis. In her free time, Kristin practices sustainable gardening at their home, hunts for new plants, and donates her time and talents to her community and America in Bloom.

Cheryl Corson, PLA, is a landscape architect, writer, and teacher in private practice in the Mid-Atlantic region. As a certified playground safety inspector, Cheryl enjoys designing playgrounds incorporating nature and outdoor learning. Her 2017 Sustainable Landscape Maintenance Manual for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed received a GWA Silver Medal of Achievement and a Merit Award from the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Cheryl teaches workshops on developing sustainable landscape maintenance plans to help keep designed landscapes functional and beautiful. She also coaches people sitting for the rigorous Landscape Architecture Registration Exam through her online learning platform, CorsonLearning. Cheryl holds a BA in Public Administration from the University of Maine, and an MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is former director of public art for the state of Colorado, and former ASLA education director. She lives in rural Maryland, where she and her husband have fostered dozens of trees and native plant communities supportive of wildlife. Recognizing the fundamental connection between personal wellness and environmental health, Cheryl is currently studying Health and Wellness Coaching at the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

To date, more than 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Awards will be announced October 3-5, 2019 at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards Celebration, held this year in St. Charles, IL.