GALLIPOLIS — With America in Bloom (AIB) judges scheduled to return to Gallipolis later this month, the members of the Gallipolis in Bloom (GIB) committee are making their final preparations for the friendly competition that promotes the beautification of communities across the United States, and, this year, the committee is seeking the input of the citizens of the city for the newest portion of the program.
According to GIB President Beverly Dunkle, following the success of the “yard of the week” and “business of the week” competitions for businesses and residents across the city, this year a new honor, “backyard beauty,” will be presented throughout the season to the most beautiful and well-tended backyards.
And, as backyards are, by their nature, hidden from view, the GIB committee is counting on friends and neighbors to nominate the owners of noteworthy backyards throughout the city.
“We can’t walk around in people’s backyards so we are looking for help from the community to identify yards of the weeks, and, especially, backyards as ‘backyard beauty’ is our new category this year,” Dunkle said.
Dunkle further commented that, in addition to the community’s help in identifying yards of the week and backyards for the “backyard beauty” category, the GIB committee is also counting on the community to once again tidy their own yards, homes and neighborhoods and prepare for the AIB judges arrival on June 20-21.
According to Dunkle, the AIB competition not only encompasses the floral displays at the city park and the other locations throughout the city, but also the overall development of the community and the yards and gardens at each residence in the community.
“We appreciate all the support we get from the community, whether it’s from a monetary donation or people just cleaning up, just tiding up their house, and all the yard of the week winners who work so hard — we do appreciate that because every little bit helps,” she said. “Everyone can help to work on the overall impression.”
The City of Gallipolis entered the America in Bloom competition in 2006, and, since that time, has received numerous awards in the program and gaining nationwide recognition for their work.
Most recently, in 2011 at the AIB annual symposium held in Washington, D.C., Gallipolis received a four bloom rating with special recognition for heritage preservation, as well as an award for the best adaptive reuse project for the restoration of the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in downtown Gallipolis.
Last year, Gallipolis received a three bloom rating and a special mention for its efforts in floral displays.
Dunkle also added that during this year’s judging, the public is encouraged to attend the judge’s welcome ceremony to be held at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 20 at the Gallia County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau on Court Street, as well as a reception that will be held from approximately 6:30-8:30 p.m. on June 20 at the French Art Colony.
Dunkle, who has been involved with GIB in some capacity since its first year, has served as the GIB president for the last several years and reported that she will continue to participate in the contest that seeks to improve the community because she not only believes in the program, but also the community itself.
“I believe in it, I really do. I love Gallipolis and I think we have a nice town,” she said. “The community is growing. Gallipolis is a great place to grow — that’s our theme, and I do believe it is a great place to grow.”
For more information on the Gallipolis in Bloom committee or to nominate a yard of the week or a backyard for the “backyard beauty” category, call Beverly Dunkle at (740) 441-6015, Sandee Saxon at (740) 446-1789 or contact GIB on Facebook.