Archive 2008 - 2019

America in Bloom Explained

by Eric Niermeyer

With Holliston set to participate in the annual America in Bloom symposium later this week, I thought it might be a good time to post a refresher on what happens at the symposium, how it works, and how it relates to the town of Holliston.

This symposium will be the 15th since America in Bloom was founded in 2002 to emulate similar organizations in Europe, Canada, and Australia.  The nonprofit group aims to promote nationwide beautification, livability, and historical preservation through effective urban landscaping and gardening.

Over 200 communities from across the United States have participated in the group’s annual symposiums since 2002.  The symposiums rotate through different participating communities each year, with this year’s event taking place in Arroyo Grande, California.

The 2016 symposium will feature 39 towns representing 21 states and will take place from Thursday, October 6, to Saturday, October 8.  The symposium consists of showcases, speakers, tours of local landmarks, and an awards ceremony.

For the awards portion, participating towns are divided into tiers based on their population, with Holliston landing in the 14,000 - 20,000 bracket.  Towns are then judged on their specific beautification and landscaping projects, and Population Category Award winners are declared in each bracket.

Towns are also allowed to select themselves for additional awards in specific categories, called Outstanding Achievement Awards.  This year, Holliston chose to compete in the Heritage Preservation and Community Involvement categories.    

Participating communities also select a resident to represent them as an official nominee for the Community Champion award.  This year, Holliston has chosen Deb Moore as our nominee for her work on the Pinecrest Golf Course and many other projects.

America in Bloom judges will grade Holliston for the work done by Holliston in Bloom members and other local volunteers, as observed by representatives who visited Holliston in July.  Holliston in Bloom has worked hard on several projects around town, ranging from the large-scale planting of mums in the downtown area at the end of September to its management of the butterfly aviary at Pinecrest to its ongoing landscaping projects at the Senior Center and Town Hall.

Holliston won Population Category awards in both 2013 and 2015.  If Holliston wins an award this year it will achieve Circle of Champions status, which is given to communities that win three awards in total and is valid for three years.  With that and the fact that Holliston has been selected as the host for the 2017 symposium, you can bet that all eyes be on Holliston this year.

Editors Note:  Eric Niermeyer our intern will be reporting from California this coming weekend on Holliston's activities at the 2016 America in Bloom Symposium