Warrenville wins top honor in America in Bloom competition
Warrenville has captured top honors in this year's America in Bloom National Awards program for towns with populations between 14,000 and 17,000.
Other communities in the same population category were Carthage, Missouri; Dyer, Indiana; and Greenwood, Mississippi.
Warrenville also received special recognition for its landscaped areas.
"We were absolutely thrilled and surprised. What an honor," said Dorothy Deer, president of the Warrenville in Bloom nonprofit group that leads the city's initiative.
"We have 35 amazing volunteers who work together to help make this a wonderful city. But it's also the city's public works, code enforcement, historical society, churches, schools, other nonprofits and even the residents that make our community such a wonderful place to live and work and play."
Judges Barbara Vincentsen and Steve Zwiep spent two days this summer touring the city and meeting with municipal officials, residents and volunteers.
All participants were evaluated on seven criteria: overall impression, community vitality, environmental efforts, heritage celebration, urban forestry, landscaped areas and flowers.
They also were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential and commercial sectors.
America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.
"America in Bloom is helping communities of all sizes achieve their potential," Executive Director Laura Kunkle said.
"Every year, our participants raise the bar and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year's group is remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live and visit."
To date, more than 260 communities from 43 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it.
Registration for the 2020 national awards program can be submitted until Feb. 28 at www.americainbloom.org.
Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.