By: Laura Kunkle, Executive Director
America in Bloom-participating communities send me photos each year of the transformative ways they are making their towns more 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. As one mayor said, “We first thought it was about flowers. But it is about seeing our community and our residents bloom in so many ways.”
I recently decided to archive some of the thousands and thousands of photos I’ve received from communities since AIB began in 2002. That clean-up process took me on a stroll down memory lane as I reflected on the more than 250 communities involved in the AIB program.
Here are photos from 10 AIB communities. These are not my favorite photos from the thousands submitted over the years. These photos simply speak to the work being done by people in communities of all sizes to make their place in the world more beautiful. Some of these ideas are easy to recreate, while some would require more time and resources. Some creative, some whimsical, some so uniquely “cool.” I hope one of these images inspires you to try something different to beautify your own personal garden or your community.
Art in Bloom
Art is blooming in Ottawa, Illinois. This community, 90 miles west of Chicago, has a vibrant public art program as portrayed in this creative planting.
Enter A New World
Athens, Ohio is a college town in southeast Ohio. Does this image show a metaphor for the college experience: leaving one world to enter another?
Brewton, Alabama loves their outdoor activities. They have programs and policies in place to ensure a vibrant community. Imagine walking by this every day? Pride abounds in Brewton.
Community Container Gardening
Clyde, Ohio has an enthusiastic group of volunteers who have taken the idea of container gardening in a fun direction.
Gardening for Climate Concerns
Climate concerns affect Arroyo Grande, California. Fire is a very real threat, so the Arroyo Grande community built a fire resistive demonstration garden to educate residents and visitors.
Simple Tips for Beautification
Belpre, Ohio is an Appalachian region community that bursts with blooms. Volunteers and city staff work collaboratively to beautiful Belpre. Look at this simple but effective beautification tip!
Spruce Up Your Environment
Holliston, Massachusetts is a quaint Boston suburb bedroom community. The passionate Holliston in Bloom crew shows off an easy and beautiful way to spruce up part of their built environment.
Welcome to Our Community
Madisonville, Kentucky, which calls itself “The Best Town on Earth,” takes great effort in creating a beautiful and welcoming environment.
Southern Charm and Hospitality
Lexington, Kentucky combines big city chic with southern hospitality. It’s a town known for its colleges, horse farms, bourbon distilleries, vibrant public/private partnerships, and welcoming people. Here is an example from Lexington’s “Book Benches” program.
What A View!
Estes Park, Colorado is a small community at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Road trip, anyone?