GALLIPOLIS — Professional volunteer judges from the America in Bloom (AIB) national awards program will visit Gallipolis on July 13 and 14.
Gallipolis has repeatedly distinguished itself since first joining the program in 2006, winning its population category in 2011, 2014, and 2016 and winning Outstanding Achievement Awards for Floral Displays in 2006 and 2013 and Overall Impression in 2014. Gallipolis is one of the many communities across America working on local revitalization programs with an eye to win an America in Bloom national award.
Gallipolis joins Greendale, Ind., Logan and Belpre, in the Small Circle of Champions category.
In addition to receiving a detailed written evaluation from the judges citing strengths and opportunities for improvement, participants receive a bloom rating and special mention for what the judges deem to be an extraordinary project or program. Additional awards can be earned in the population category, special awards, community champion, and YouTube video. An outstanding achievement award also exists as the “best of the best” overall participants in each of the six evaluated criteria.
Population category winners are invited to participate in international competition via the Communities in Bloom program in Canada.
Judges will evaluate the community’s efforts in the areas of overall impression, environmental efforts, heritage preservation, landscaped areas, urban forestry, floral displays, and community involvement in the municipal, commercial and residential sectors.
The judging team members are Karin Rindal and Teresa Woodard.
Rindal’s wide ranging business career in manufacturing and government includes time involved in international trade program evaluation and training in Total Quality Management (TQM) and Malcolm Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence. In 2004, Rindal discovered the New Jersey Master Gardener program. She was appointed to the Board of Directors at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, N.J., where she organized annual plant sales and coordinated activities of volunteer committees including donations, raffle, and publicity and print materials.
Rindal has won awards at the New Jersey Home and Garden Show for container design and for horticultural entries at the Newport, RI Flower Show. For two years she wrote a regular weekly garden column for the Millburn/Short Hills Patch. Since 2005, she has taught gardening and cooking classes to adults and children. After a trip to Germany to do on-site research and photography, her most recent lecture involves the herbs and gardens of medieval cleric, Hildegard Von Bingen.
Rindal currently volunteers at the US Botanic Garden where she has assisted with a broad variety of educational events, including presenting a class on sustainable container gardening. Through her work at the botanic garden on the Sustainable Sites InitiativeTM (SITES) she completed the requirements for the New Jersey Environmental Stewardship program.
Woodard is a prolific garden writer, an award-winning master gardener and backyard conservationist from central Ohio. After graduating from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she worked seven years for a Columbus public relations firm marketing the city’s economic development and promoting its restaurant and hotel chain community outreach efforts. Teresa took a new path in 2007 pursuing a freelance writing business focused on her passion of gardening. She currently scouts, writes and produces stories for Better Homes Gardens special interest magazines, Country Gardens, The Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living, Ohio Magazine and State-by-State Gardening magazines. She also travels frequently and blogs with two other garden writers at www.heartland-gardening.com. She is a Master Gardener Volunteer for The Ohio State University Extension and won the 2015 Ohio Outstanding Master Gardener Award for her efforts to launch a Heritage Tree Program, help organize a conservation tour for a nationally protected river and publicize Master Gardeners’ efforts around the state. At her rural home in a conservation development near West Jefferson, she nurtures prairie strips, an edibles garden and perennial beds and helps maintain the development’s 250-acre preserve.
To date, nearly 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the AIB program and more than 22 million people have been influenced by it. Awards will be announced on October 5-7, 2017 at AIB’s National Symposium and Awards, held this year in Holliston, Mass
America in Bloom is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. America in Bloom provides educational programs, resources, and the challenge of friendly competition between participating communities across the country.