GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Bloom has a little extra time this year to prepare to for the American in Bloom judges anticipated to arrive July 11-12 to determine where the city is in the national beautification race in which it takes part every year.
According to Gallipolis in Bloom Volunteer Coordinator Kim Canaday, the judges typically arrive the third week of June. American in Bloom judges towns participating in the beautification contest on six separate criteria: floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation and overall impression.
Floral displays obviously include the overall impression of flower beds, baskets and containers as well as their arrangement, distribution, diversity and locations. Landscaped areas may include hardscaped features, sustainable plants and the use of turf and ground cover.
Urban forestry investigates the distribution and quality of trees planted within town as well as their maintenance. Environmental efforts oversee what work has been done to help recycle hazardous materials as well as whether or not things like Earth Day events have been held.
Heritage preservation asks ‘Bloom’ participants to participate in the preservation and restoration of local sites. Overall impression is much the way it sounds. Are judged sites clean? How do streets appear?
America in Bloom Judge Stephen Pategas will be visiting Gallipolis and is an award-winning architect, garden writer and garden photographer from Winter Park, Fla. He and his wife own a boutique landscape architecture company and are the authors of gardening books as well as gardening columnists.
Judge Susie Stratton will also be appearing in Gallipolis. She and her husband own Stratton Greenhouses which was originally founded by her husband’s father. The business now serves as a retail garden center, landscape and design operation with a nursery that serves northwest Ohio. Stratton has been instrumental in the beautification of the University of Findlay since 2007.
Washington Elementary School students will be holding a planting day in the Gallipolis Community Garden on May 23. Kim Canaday says that other community members may plant there as well and simply need to sign up with her in the Gallipolis Municipal Building tax office.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.