BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Bloomington has won top honors in the nation as a 2010 America in Bloom community. The Bloomington Board of REALTORS announced Sunday that its partnership with the City of Bloomington and Indiana University to achieve recognition in the national beautification competition was proven successful when Bloomington was named the top America in Bloom community for its population category.
The announcement came late Saturday night during the awards ceremony at the annual America in Bloom Symposium in St. Louis, Mo.
“When the Board of REALTORS approached us about joining their efforts to become an America in Bloom community, we knew that there would be a lot of work involved,” said Mick Renneisen, Director of the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department and Bloomington in Bloom Advisory Committee Chair. “What we didn’t realize was how eager so many others in the community would be to join in by planting flowers, picking up litter, recycling and showing how proud they are of their city. The America in Bloom award took a whole community to earn, and it’s an award the whole community deserves.”
The Bloomington Board of REALTORS volunteered to lead the America in Bloom initiative in 2008, and the board’s members along with committee members and volunteers from all sectors of the community created a committee called “Bloomington in Bloom.” The committee and countless volunteers prepared the entire city for a three-day visit by the America in Bloom judges in June 2010.
“America in Bloom became much more than a beautification competition for us over the past two years,” said Mayor Mark Kruzan. “With the Board of REALTORS, IU students, faculty and staff, County government, nonprofit organizations, businesses and City government all working together, we’ve experienced community collaboration at its finest. These partnerships and all that they accomplished will certainly have a lasting impact on our community’s quality of life. I commend everyone involved and truly appreciate everything they have done to make Bloomington an even better community.”
Bloomington competed against two other cities in the population category of 50,000 to 100,000: Fayetteville, Ark. and Springfield, Ohio. Bloomington and the other competing cities were judged in the following categories: Tidiness, Environmental Effort, Community Involvement, Heritage, Urban Forestry, Landscaped Areas, Floral Displays, and Turf and Ground Cover Areas. In addition to the top community award, Bloomington was named the overall winner of the Urban Forestry category over all the America in Bloom contenders – 28 in all.
America in Bloom judge Bill Hahn spoke highly of Bloomington’s success in regard to this honor.
“When it comes to urban forestry, Bloomington ‘gets it,’ Hahn said. “Precious few cities have plumbed the depths of the importance of trees to the local, regional, and global ecosystem. While it’s one thing to know theory, it’s quite another to actualize it with comprehensive goals, objectives and actions.”
The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is a not-for-profit corporation funded through memberships and grants from private industry, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomigton. The BEDC is the lead business retention, development and attraction entity for Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana and is the host for the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership (BLSP) and the Bloomington Technology Partnership (BTP). Further information about the BEDC is available at www.comparebloomington.us.