Top honors for the prestigious 2019 America in Bloom National Awards Program were announced at the annual symposium and awards celebration held in St. Charles, IL, on Oct. 5.
Lewisburg was the winner of the 1,200-4,000 population category. Other communities in that population category were Beattyville, KY; Castle Rock, WA; and St. Michaels, MD. Lewisburg was also the winner of the “Eye-Popping Pots – Best Use of Containers in the Landscape” special award, one of 10 surprise awards announced during the symposium. Additionally, Lewisburg received special recognition for its Community Involvement. Kristin Pategas and Cheryl Corson, AIB judges, spent two days in the summer touring the community, meeting municipal officials, residents, and volunteers.
All participants were evaluated on seven criteria: overall impression, community vitality, environmental efforts, heritage celebration, urban forestry, landscaped areas, and flowers. Additionally, they 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. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.
America in Bloom executive director, Laura Kunkle, said, “America in Bloom is helping communities of all sizes achieve their potential. Every year our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year’s group is remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live and visit.”
To date, more than 260 communities from 43 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Registrations for the 2020 national awards program can be submitted until February 28, 2020. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.