time again to plan for Westlake In Bloom
By Thea Steinmetz
Published Date, 2005
I was invited to an America in Bloom organizational meeting at Westlake
City Hall. Westlake's own Delilah Onofrey is taking a leading role
for this Ohio based initiative. The organization's headquarter is
in Columbus and the cost is underwritten by the Green Industry.
It is the fourth
year for this friendly contest and by all accounts, it has been
a success. America in Bloom has kicked off the 2005 competition.
The aim is to encourage revitalizing communities of all sizes from
coast to coast via beautification, starting with the beautification
start to visit cities and towns this spring and summer and the results
will be announced in Cleveland this September. The city of Cleveland,
with the encouragement of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, is entering
in the large city competition. A three day symposium will be held
in conjunction with the awards ceremony.
In the friendly
competition, communities are matched by population and evaluated
on their efforts. The nine areas for competition are related to
landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, floral displays, urban forestry,
environmental awareness, tidiness, heritage conservation and community
To date about
90 communities in 30 states have come on board, with a deadline
for entering still two weeks away. The contest chair is Alex Pearl
and he says: "The America in Bloom program is more than a competition
but a showcase for municipal services, businesses and citizens to
shout civic pride."
He also stresses
that the umbrella criteria demonstrates the depth and sustainability
of a community being encouraged to rediscover its resources. Communities
are made up of people.
entering are grouped according to population density and Westlake
is paired with a same size city. Westlake has been a consistent
winner and Mayor Dennis M. Clough is once again encouraging local
residents to "start thinking about what comes out of the ground
instead of what comes out of the sky." He also stresses that the
residence and business owners should take pride in the appearance
of their properties.
" I am pleased to announce that our fourth annual Westlake in Bloom
competition will take place in June 2005."
centers are once again offering a one time only 10% discount for
flowers to be planted on properties to be submitted for the various
categories, when an entry form is presented. The entry form then
has to be mailed or dropped off at the reception desk at Westlake
City Hall, 27700 Hilliard Blvd. By June 15.
This date may
sound far out in the future, but plans may be made now on what is
eligible for entering. Lynn Brady, the economic development assistant
for the City of Westlake, administers this program on behalf of
the city. She has expressed the hope for residents with lovely gardens
to enter the competition in the spirit of community pride.
earned national and international recognition for the "Bloom" efforts
in the past. Lynn is encouraging everyone to suggest to friends
and neighbors with good gardening skills, to enter the 2005 competition.
At times, a little encouragement is all it takes to be part of this
There are more
than 10 different entry categories. This opens the field of possible
types of gardens, from large to medium to small. Schools and churches
are also encouraged to submit entries,. Commercially maintained
properties, homes and businesses may enter for their own awards.
It is hoped that some Century Homes will enter in the landscaping
category. Patio gardens at condominiums and apartments, as well
as entrances for developments and cluster homes have their own way
to compete. Even ponds and water features may be entered in their
As you look
out over your landscape with the snow blanketing the earth, think
ahead and make plans for a beautiful summer. It might spur you on
to plant that lovely garden you have always aspired. After all,
you have until June 15 to tweak it, fertilize it, prune it and do
your best to get it out there to show it off to your neighbors in
the best community spirit.