HOLLAND - America in Bloom (AIB) is an independent, non-profit organization that envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work, and play - benefitting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism. Nationwide beautification is promoted through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.
The program provides a framework for improving the overall quality of life through community building and involvement. America in Bloom offers a national awards program, during which judges evaluate each participant based on specified criteria. It is the only program of its kind that provides on-site, one-on-one mentoring and coaching by a team of expert judges who provide a detailed, written evaluation.
Through the “Holland in Bloom” initiative, the City’s participation in the AIB program is entering its fourth year. The results to date have been impressive:
- 2011: the City of Holland entered the “America in Bloom” competition for the first time. A team of judges visited Holland in August. Later that year, the City was proclaimed the winner (with 5 out of 5 possible blooms) in the 25,000-50,000 population category, and received the overall award in the “Tidiness” Category.
- 2012: the City entered the competition for a second consecutive year. After a visit by the judges in the late July/early August, the City again won its population category with 5 out of 5 blooms, and received the overall award in the “Environmental Efforts” category and a special award for the Best Community Garden Program. In addition, the City was honored with the new “Circle of Champions” designation, by virtue of having won a combination of three population and/or criteria awards over the years. Only nine cities (out of nearly 200) have earned this distinct honor.
- 2013: the City entered the competition for a third consecutive year and, after a visit by the judges in August, the City won its population category with 5 out of 5 blooms and received the overall award in the “Historic Preservation” category.
The City of Holland has again entered the competition in 2014, and the Steering Committee is actively planning upcoming activities and events in preparation for the judges’ visit. The 2nd Annual Community Tulip Pull, where residents have the opportunity to come to a specified park to purchase and pull out tulip bulbs for replanting, is being planned for Saturday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to noon. Specific locations and costs will be announced, and proceeds will benefit Holland in Bloom. The “Blizzards to Blooms” competition will run from June 15 to July 15. City property owners are invited to show the community how their landscaping emerged from the snowy and frigid winter of 2013-2014 into a glorious display.
Further information on these and other events will be available at www.cityofholland.com, www.hollandinbloom.com, the “Holland in Bloom” Facebook page, and at Holland City Hall and the Parks and Cemeteries Department Building.
The judges from America in Bloom will be visiting Holland on July 29-30, 2014. They will tour many areas of the community, and it is hoped that residents will extend them a warm welcome during their visit.
About Holland in Bloom: “Celebrating the Pride Planted in Our Community”
HOLLAND IN BLOOM promotes civic pride in our beautification efforts and encourages the integration of beautification, historic preservation, and environmental efforts into the fabric of our community as we move forward.