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Holland plants pride in community by participating in America in Bloom Program | Community Spirit

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Holland plants pride in community by participating in America in Bloom Program
Holland plants pride in community by participating in America in Bloom Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOLLAND, Mich. - Holland, Michigan is proud to announce that it is participating in the America in Bloom (AIB) program. America in Bloom is a non-profit 501c3 corporation whose mission is to promote nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.

To date, nearly 200 towns and cities from 38 states have participated in the program and more than 20 million people have been touched by it. Communities are compared to others in the same population category.

Judging takes place May through August with Holland, Michigan anticipating judge arrivals in July. Pairs of specially trained judges visit each participating town for two days of extensive touring, interviews with municipal representatives, and meetings with community volunteers. Judges evaluate eight criteria: community involvement, tidiness, environmental efforts, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscapes, floral displays, turf and groundcovers. These criteria are examined across three sectors: commercial, municipal, and residential.

Judges will prepare an extensive written evaluation offering observations of exceptional practices and suggestions for improvements. It is given to the community after awards are announced in October. Many towns use these evaluations as a blueprint for further enhancements to their quality of life and to support grant applications.

Participants have opportunities to receive recognition in the following areas:

  • Population category winner.
  • Criteria award – the “best of the best” in all population categories in each of the eight evaluated criteria.
  • Special mention – for what the judges deem to be an extraordinary project or program.
  • Population category winners are invited to participate in international competition via the Communities in Bloom program in  Canada.

Laura Kunkle, AIB’s executive director, said, “It has been the  experience of our participants that they are all winners beginning with the day they decide to be part of the America in Bloom family. The effort of being part of the program makes such a visible difference and generates so much excitement in each town that they are all better for it, not just during their years of participation, but for years to come. Participation in America in Bloom makes a lasting impression and can change the way a city looks at itself.”

City of Holland Councilwoman Nancy DeBoer commented, “This is another fine example of how Holland can share its beauty with the rest of the country and be recognized for its community involvement and pride.”

The Holland in Bloom committee invites the community to visit their informational table on Saturday, March 12 at 11:30am on the corner of  8th Street and College Avenue (before and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade) to learn more about the program and how to get involved. Additional events and informational meetings will be taking place  throughout the coming months.

Local Holland in Bloom supporters include; City of Holland, Holland Horticultural Club, Holland Garden Club, Haworth, Inc., Heinz, Keller-Williams, Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt, Jim & Donna Brooks, Huntington Bank, Holland Area Chamber of Commerce and Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau .

Awards will be announced next fall at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards in Washington, D.C.

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