AIB Celebrates Annual Awards Program
Celebrate community improvement initiatives at the sixth annual America in Bloom (AIB) symposium and awards program Sept. 27-29 in Rockford, Illinois. AIB encourages nationwide beautification programs, personal and community involvement, educational programs and the challenge of a friendly competition among participating communities across the country.
Anyone interested in building civic pride in their community is invited to attend the symposium. Speakers and learning tours will provide take-home ideas on how to bring together the municipal, commercial and residential sectors in a united manner to improve communities.
The 3-day program begins on Thursday, Sept. 27, with the announcement of the eight “best of the best” awards in each of the eight AIB criteria: community involvement, floral displays, landscaped areas, environmental awareness, urban forestry, heritage preservation, turf and groundcover areas, and tidiness.
Attendees will then meet with teams of judges on Friday morning to share and learn what cities of their size are doing to improve their communities. This unique opportunity is one of the most popular events during the symposium.
Douglas Hoerr will present the keynote presentation on Friday. Hoerr’s architecture firm in Chicago, Ill. This award-winning architect’s designs combine dimensional thinking with innovative horticulture. Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agency Director, Douglas Scott, will give Saturday’s keynote presentation. A Rockford native, Scott continues to work on such initiatives as brownfields, alternative energy and fuel sources, and protecting vital public water supplies.
Concurrent sessions will be offered on Saturday about recycling, developing youth leaders through gardening, the art of collaboration, working with your local media, recruiting volunteers and how to have success in the AIB program.
Afternoon tours on both days will provide on-site visits using Rockford as a laboratory to discuss AIB criteria. Tour participants will learn about heritage preservation, creating lush landscapes, environmental protection, park development, recycling, sports turf management, green roofs, grants and public art.
The symposium ends on with the gala banquet and awards program in which all cities are recognized and winners are announced in each of the population categories.
The deadline to register for the AIB symposium is September 15. For more information about AIB and the symposium, visit www.americainbloom.org.