Archive 2008 - 2019

Day 2 America in Bloom Judges Tour (part 1)

by Cherry Fenton

Day 2 America in Bloom Judges Tour (part 1)

America in Bloom judges have visited Holliston 6 times. Each participant is rated on specific criteria – Flowers, Landscaped Areas, Overall Appearance, Historical Preservation, Urban Forestry, Environmental Efforts, and a new category for 2018, Community Vitality. Communities are grouped in a population size and ranked numerically according to their overall score.  A community is not judged against other cities in the same population size. Holliston has won its population size 3 times in 5 years of competition, so it was bumped up to “Circle of Champions” ranking in 2016 where all other cities have also won at least 3 times as well.  Judges visit each America in Bloom contestant for two days, visiting places that show the newest projects or distinctive locations. Later, the Judges write a comprehensive report detailing what they felt worked well based on their criteria and more importantly, provide suggestions to help a community . Their experiences in visiting other cities across the country is invaluable. The judges are horticultural professionals and are more like consultants who share their expertise and experiences that have made other communities successful.

Day 2

Above the judges started their second day riding on the Rail Trail maintenance cart driven by Ken Henderson. The Holliston Rail Trail Committee chairman (aka Mr. Rail Trail) Robert Weidknecht, and co-chairs Kathy Shore and Cherry Fenton rode alongside on their bicycles. The judges were able to hear the history and development of the Rail Trail as they stopped to talk about Phipps Tunnel, commemorative granite benches, efforts of the local Boy and Eagle Scouts along the Storybook Trail and Arch and Exchange Street bridges, local companies and churches who help clean up the trail, and how Blair Square came to be. Additionally, they were able to witness the usage of the trail in the morning hours. There were plenty of walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and even an exercise group consisting of babies pushed in their strollers by their moms.

(Shannon Beatty admiring Storybook Trail on the Rail Trail)

At the 8 Arch Bridge, the group was met by Mary Greendale, above left, who led the 8 Arch Bridge Restoration effort. She talked about the committee and the steps they took to raise initial funds to get the project started. The judges were impressed with the massive undertaking of the renovation and remarked on how many communities wouldn't even know how, or want to undertake such a project.

The judges were then brought to the Holliston Community Farm on Rogers Road and were met by the Agricultural Commission Chairman, PJ Kilkelly, above, and his daughter Grace (not pictured). PJ talked about all the work that has been done to date since the purchase of the property, annual fundraising events, and future plans. The group viewed the rye planting, the tomatoes and peppers inside the new greenhouse and then walked down to the bee apiary.

Comments (2)

Actually it's still day one, they were just stuck at the lights.

scott | 2018-07-27 12:31:01

With the amount of traffic increasing on the Rail Trail, I think installing traffic lights may be in the near future?

Terry Duerod | 2018-07-27 04:06:46