Monday, May 4, 2009

America in Bloom Judges are Coming to Westfield!

Westfield, NJ - Downtown Westfield Corporation and Williams Nursery of Westfield have teamed up for Westfield to be awarded a national "America in Bloom" award. The America in Bloom contest awards community applicants for their efforts in the following categories: tidiness, environmental, community involvement, heritage, urban forestry, landscaped areas, floral display, and turf and ground cover areas. The DWC and Williams Nursery are partnering with the Town of Westfield and other community organizations like the Garden Club of Westfield, Rake & Hoe Garden Club, Friends of Mindowaskin, Master Gardeners, and many other volunteers to help Westfield win the contest.

Two judges will be visiting Westfield on July 2 and 3 as part of the AIB national beautification campaign and contest. Westfield is one of 39 cities competing in 10 population categories in this friendly contest that promotes community involvement, patriotism, and civic pride along with beautiful landscapes.

America in Bloom is modeled after Canada’s successful Communities in Bloom program, which began more than eight years ago with just 29 cities and has grown to include several hundred competing provincially, nationally, and internationally. AIB began on a small scale in 2001 when four US cities were mentored by Canadian cities in environmental awareness, community involvement, heritage, urban forestry, landscaped areas, floral displays, and turf and ground cover areas.

Judges are professionally trained volunteers. While many are retirees with careers devoted to public gardening and municipal grounds keeping, others are master gardeners and civic activists. The same pair of judges will evaluate each community within a population category.

America in Bloom judges begin their journey in the Southeast in June and will finish the end of July. In their travels, they will witness the same community spirit that made Canada’s program so successful. “In speaking with participants, I find a new-found enthusiasm for their neighbors and the community they live in,” says Alex Pearl, AIB’s chief justice. “Municipalities, businesses, and individuals are willing to pitch in. Little efforts go a long way to include so many people. America in Bloom is building pride through the use of plants.”

The results of the competition will be revealed at the America in Bloom awards symposium in October in Hershey, PA. In addition to the awards banquet, there will be educational seminars and tours to horticultural attractions in the area. For local information about Westfield’s participation or to submit stories and digital photos of your Westfield residence, business or outdoor environment, contact Sherry Cronin at Downtown Westfield Corporation or Dave Williams at Williams Nursery at or visit the website at For additional information on the national program, contact America in Bloom at 614-487-1117 or visit

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