Archive 2008 - 2019

America in Bloom Symposium Opens in California

by Eric Niermeyer

America in Bloom’s 15th annual symposium kicked off Thursday night with a welcome banquet in the central California city of San Luis Obispo.  San Luis Obispo is adjacent to the host town of Arroyo Grande, which is one of 39 communities that are participating this year.

Participating communities range in size from 200 to 300,000 people, representing 21 different states in the continental U.S.   About 200 people turned out for the first event of the three day symposium, which featured speeches from the mayor of Arroyo Grande as well as other local officials and prominent members of America in Bloom. 

Each community was called up onstage over the course of the night and commended on a specific aspect of its beautification projects.  Communities were also awarded between one and five ‘blooms’, with one being the worst and five being the best rating.

Holliston was recognized for its outstanding community involvement and awarded the maximum five blooms, an improvement over the four blooms it received last year.

The night was also used as an opportunity to introduce the 19 nominees for the coveted Community Champion Award, which was first introduced by America in Bloom in 2009.  This year, Holliston in Bloom selected Deb Moore as our nominee for Community Champion.  Holliston, which began participating in America in Bloom in 2012, has yet to win the award.

If Holliston wins the Community Champion Award or the Population Category Award for its bracket of 14,000 – 20,000 people, it will be inducted into the Circle of Champions, a designation given to towns that have won three awards in total.  Holliston won Population Category Awards in 2013 and 2015.

It was also announced that 10 surprise awards would be presented at this year’s symposium to celebrate America in Bloom reaching its 15th year.  Two of the Surprise Awards were presented Thursday night, with the remaining eight to be doled out over the next two days.

The awards in question were Coolest Downtown and Best Combination of Plants in Hanging Baskets.  Unfortunately, Holliston was not nominated for either award.

Tomorrow the symposium will feature four more Surprise Awards, the Community Champion Award, several presentations, and a tour of Arroyo Grande.


Comments (2)

Thank you Holliston Reporter for sending Eric to report on the AIB events in California. Congratulations to all the Hollistonian volunteers !! A five Bloom category designation on community iñvolvement is the highest recognition a community can get !! Our Town, and our committee can't thank you all enough !! Co - chairs Kathy Shore & Mark Ahronian

Mark Ahronian | 2016-10-07 03:23:39

Great coverage of the event, Eric. Fingers crossed for Deb.

Paul Saulnier | 2016-10-07 00:34:59