Friday, June 26, 2009

Letter from the America in Bloom Judges

Congratulations Greendale for participating in the America in Bloom (AIB) competition. Two new perusing pairs of eyes peered through your parks, neighborhoods and business districts June 22nd and 23rd. All this to determine and praise your community’s progress in discovering and touting its hidden amenities and attributes, improving the quality of life of its citizens, as well as becoming a destination to live, work or recreate.

Of course these eyes belong to the America in Bloom judges who are evaluating Greendale‘s AIB effort. America in Bloom is indeed a total community building endeavor disguised as a beautification program. The eight criteria judged – Tidiness, Environmental Effort, Community Involvement, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscaped Areas, Floral Display and Turf and Groundcover – are designed to bring communities and people out of closets of obscurity to discover the many facets of their hidden gems or expertise. The judges provide seasoned insight and consultation toward improvement and their recommendations will further help Greendale promote a holistic, functional community.

The fact is, AIB has participated with 172 communities in 38 states, not to mention being presented the American Horticultural Society’s prestigious “Great American Gardener’s Award”. Their non-profit status, as well as their volunteer board and judges, offer sustainable solutions in view of budget busting economies, out-sourcing, mobile lifestyles and environmental trends.

The culmination of this friendly competition is detailed in a 25 page (+/-) scoring and consultation document presented at the Awards Ceremony and Educational Symposium, held this year in beautiful Hershey, Pa. October 1st and 2nd. While top awards are earned by those who garner the most points among the eight criteria, truly all participants are winners by virtue of completing the course. Surveys confirm many attendees benefit most from the open discussion time with their peer cities which is hosted by the judges at the symposium.

In conclusion, 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 Our sincere thanks to Greendale’s America in Bloom Committee, the support of the municipality, businesses, volunteers and everyone who supported this critical, herculean effort.

Bill Hahn, Diana K.Weiner
2009 America in Bloom Judges

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