America in Bloom judges to visit Greendale
Professional volunteer judges from the America in Bloom national awards program will visit Greendale, July 22 and July 23.
This is Greendale’s 15th year as an America in Bloom participant, and it is one of the many proud and passionate communities across America working on local revitalization programs.
Participants experience better cooperation among municipal, commercial, and residential sectors because everyone works toward a common goal.
In addition to receiving a detailed written evaluation from the judges citing strengths and opportunities for improvement, participants receive a special mention for what the judges deem to be an extraordinary project or program.
Additional awards that can be earned includes:
Population category winner
Outstanding achievement award – the “best of the best” over all participants in each of the evaluated criteria
Judges will be evaluating the community’s efforts in the areas of flowers, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, celebrating heritage, community vitality, and overall impression.
The judging team members are Leslie Pittenger and Laurie Waller.
Pittenger is an AIB board member who chairs the national awards program committee and serves as the judge coordinator.
Although her “official” position is City Auditor for Belpre, her passion for the improvement of her area has inspired community
Belpre received the 2013 and 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Involvement sponsored by the American Horticultural Society under her leadership as local AIB committee chairwoman.
As an active member of the Belpre Garden Club and Belpre High School Greenhouse boosters, she works with local students to complete environmental and beautification projects.
Currently serving her second term as auditor, her department has received the Ohio Auditor of State Award for exemplary financial reporting the last three years.
She has completed the Ohio Tree Commission Academy course and has her Commercial Applicator license for pesticides through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Pittenger is the co-editor of the Best Ideas annual edition. She serves on the board of directors for the Belpre Alumnae Association and the Belpre Area Community Development Foundation.
She graduated from the University of Georgia and was a business owner for 10 years. Leslie believes in – and has experienced – the value of AIB for the benefits it can bring to the well-being and pride of small towns across America.
Waller is a retired teacher with a master’s degree in education. After 25 years in the classroom, Waller and her husband, Richard, retired and moved to Arroyo Grande, Calif., to care for Richard’s aging mother.
Within months of arriving in Arroyo Grande, Waller began volunteering with Arroyo Grande In Bloom. A year and a half later, Laurie took over the floral displays position on the AGIB board and spent 10 years growing the program.
Through family ties to the flower industry, Laurie fostered a working relationship with Ball Horticultural Company to fill the containers and landscaped areas with annual and perennial flowers.
Because of the generosity of the Ball Horticultural family of businesses, who continue to donate 90% of the plant material for the floral program, Arroyo Grande’s beautification program blossomed and garnered multiple awards and 5 bloom ratings through Laurie’s tenure.
As a Master Gardener, Laurie spent time advising home gardeners through the Master Gardener Help Line, teaching sessions on floral display design, and use of drought tolerant and low water use plants and succulents in containers.
Awards will be announced Oct. 3 to Oct. 5, at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards Celebration, held this year in St. Charles, Ill.