GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Bloom officials attended the America in Bloom awards banquet last weekend in Holland, Mich., and came home with a rating of four out of five blooms.
“The blooms are a rating system starting with one and going to a max of five,” said Kim Canaday, Gallipolis in Bloom volunteer coordinator. “Five is darn near perfect. I’ve only seen two in the 10 years that I’ve been in (Gallipolis in Bloom). Five blooms would be quite an achievement. The number of points you get determines the number of blooms you get. About three years ago, they revamped the system and we went from four to three. I was crushed. Two years ago, I said I don’t care about anything but getting our bloom (score back). So we worked really hard in all aspects because there are six criteria. The points in those add up to the bloom score.”
Canaday said two years ago the nonprofit beautification group returned to its four-bloom score. The six categories a town is measured by are in floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation and overall impression. Gallipolis scored 769.5 points out of a possible 1000, according to America in Bloom’s 2015 evaluation form for the town.
According to Canaday, Gallipolis was nominated with three other towns for having the most beautiful tree canopy out of 40 other competing towns. The town also received a community volunteer nomination. It won that award last year, too.
“Our bloom rating tells us that we’re working in all the right areas,” Canaday said. “We might not be perfect, but we’re working in all the areas.”
Canaday also said the group may focus more on its environmental efforts in the future as that category is one of the more difficult ones in which to score high.
According to Gallipolis in Bloom president Bev Dunkle, she would like the group to plant a “living wall” for next year’s competition. The wall could be of any construction with a variety of plants grown on or at its top with draping floral arrangements that cover the extent of the wall’s surface.
“It was a difficult year. We had great community involvement. We did more stuff this year than we have ever done before,” Dunkle said.
She said she was a little disappointed that the group did not bring home more in the way of recognition in comparison to previous years. However, the group will meet again and discuss what it can do to double its efforts in the following year’s competition.
Gallipolis in Bloom is a nonprofit group that competes in the national America in Bloom competition yearly in an attempt to beautify the town, share gardening techniques and spread educational information about floral arrangements and organic agriculture.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.