Resource Articles

Community leaders are seeking new ways to attract and retain residents, develop prosperous economies, add intellectual capital, and create jobs. The drivers that create emotional bonds between people and their community are consistent in virtually every community and can be reduced to just a few categories. People consistently give higher ratings for elements that relate directly to their daily quality of life, including such things as an area’s physical beauty, opportunities for socializing, and a community’s perceived level of openness to all.. And that’s where America in Bloom and its focus on flowers, plants, and trees, heritage preservation, environmental efforts, and community vitality come in.

Learn how using these impact areas has aesthetic, economic, environmental, and human health benefits.

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  • Nature Playscapes – Turning Outdoor Environments into Engaging and Educational Areas

    Learn how nature playscapes can play an integral part in connecting your community's kids to nature by engaging their senses as they explore, discover, and learn.  ...

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  • Establish Community Gateways

    Gateways into various community entrances inform commuters that they have arrived, setting the first impression for visitors while reflecting how residents view their community. Start by identifying the ...

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  • Create a Seasonal Banner Program

    Banners on fixed poles create a festive atmosphere as they entice visitors into downtowns and celebrate events or initiatives. They can also be used as wayfinding signs to specific ...

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  • Create and Enforce a Sign Ordinance

    Signs are made to be visible. However, they can overpower everything around them and become a visual intrusion. A community that cares about its visual impact must consider the ...

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  • Start a Public Art Program with Murals

    Murals are an excellent way to tell a story about an event, building or person in the community. Survey potential blank walls to determine whether they are municipal, ...

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  • Businesses Create Litter Free Zones

    Create and promote a No Litter Zone program for commercial and retail businesses in your community. This can be a no- to low-cost program where pledged participants commit ...

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  • Historic Marker Program

    Historic districts of any size can benefit from a historic marker program. A great example of a successful program is the Banner and Shield Program administered by the ...

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  • Create an Historic Preservation Ordinance

    Historic structures contribute to the creation of a sense of place. They provide a link to a community’s past and provide a refuge from inevitable change. Without protection ...

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  • Interpretive Signage

    Interpretive signage that tells the story of a community engages residents and visitors, young and old. Many of the important historic sites located in a community are lands ...

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  • Celebrate Earth Day

    Founded in 1970, Earth Day has inspired generations to think about humans’ impact on the planet and how it affects our health and well-being. An annual Earth Day celebration ...

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  • Develop a Yard Waste Composting Program

    A program for the composting of yard waste will extend the life of landfills, reduce air pollution due to burning, and create a resource for gardeners, the landscape industry, ...

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  • Plastic Bag Recycling

    The use of plastic bags is a major issue around the world. Some countries and U.S. communities have banned them. Where plastic bags are in use they should ...

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  • Reduction of Contamination in Recyclables

    Contamination of recyclables is now a major problem across the United States. Confusion by users at recycling receptacles at their homes, businesses, schools, parks, municipal buildings, and other public ...

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  • Create a Green Team

    Create an “Environmental or Sustainability Advisory Board” or “Green Team” which allows a dedicated group to focus on environmental initiatives including recycling, pet waste policies, stormwater management, use of ...

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  • Proper Tree Saucer Mulching

    Tree planting on public land and private land can make a positive difference in beautifying a community. However, often many newly planted, as well as established trees suffer from ...

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  • Tree Care Tips and Techniques

    Trees represent a green resource for communities, providing leaf and bark aesthetics, fall colors, and multiple specific environmental benefits, such as air filtration, protecting individuals and street pavement from ...

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  • Selecting Trees for Your Community

    Community trees suffer hostile environments, whether in urban or rural conditions. Sidewalk planting pits and parking lot planting islands have limited space for root growth and soil water ...

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  • Celebrate Arbor Day

    Arbor Day is a national program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation to celebrate the value and pleasure that trees provide to our lives and communities. The Arbor ...

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  • Celebrating Great Gardens

    Gardens that catch the eye show that someone is excelling at beautifying their yard or business and the community. Programs that recognize these efforts are an excellent way to ...

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  • The Benefits of a Landscape Ordinance

    Landscaping ordinances help preserve the visual environment of a community. "Communities should be planned with an eye to the effect on the human spirit of being continually surrounded ...

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  • Find Partners to Grow and Maintain Gardens

    Gardens attract gardeners of all ages and types, but everyone does not have a place to garden. Your community may need more gardens (are there ever enough?) or need ...

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  • Build a Pollinator Demonstration Garden

    Inspire residents and visitors while they experience and enjoy a pollinator demonstration garden. To maximize exposure to the public, incorporate a pollinator garden in a key location where ...

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  • Fundraising for Flowers

    Flowers are generally received with great enthusiasm by residents and business owners as they are a sign that a community takes care of the things people treasure. Flowers ...

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  • Naming an Official Community Flower

    Colorful flowers stand out in a landscape. They light up a community. In order to bring a community together for a positive joyful cause, name an official flower for ...

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  • Discover the Surprising Side of Plants – They’re More Than Just Pretty

    Plants are among the hardest working living things on our planet. Plants are giving back to you, your family, your work, and your community. 

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  • Flowers that Welcome at Gateways

    Flowers are an important way to welcome visitors – and residents – to your community. As you look at the welcome signs at the various gateways to your ...

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  • Getting Started with Hanging Baskets

    Flowering hanging baskets are one of the most effective ways to provide a festive elegant spirit to your community, bring color to eye and car level, and lend visual ...

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  • Get Out and Bike or Walk Day

    Encourage alternative forms of transportation and improve your community’s health by hosting a “Get Out and Bike/Walk Day.” National Bike Month, National Bike to Work Week, Bike to ...

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  • Create Safe Bicycle and Pedestrian Routes

    The pedestrian and bicycling experience is important for communities as more emphasis is placed on alternative modes of transportation. Encouraging bicycling and walking reduces traffic and parking congestion, lowers ...

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  • Develop an ADA Accessible Playground

    Playgrounds are an important amenity for residents and should provide for all needs and abilities. If playgrounds do not meet ADA requirements, select at least one playground and ...

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  • Develop a Community Garden

    A demonstration garden can educate about many different topics. Consider turning an underused piece of property or a portion of an existing park into one or more demonstration gardens ...

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  • Develop a Demonstration Garden

    A demonstration garden can educate about many different topics. Consider turning an underused piece of property or a portion of an existing park into one or more demonstration gardens ...

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  • Best Ideas from AIB Communities

    The Best Ideas series of books showcases the "best ideas" submitted by America in Bloom communities. Be inspired by the big and small ways communities are becoming more ...

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  • Getting Started with Containers

    Decorative containers are a great way to add warmth, color, and interest along a street or broad sidewalk – especially ones that do not have any space for in-ground ...

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  • First Impressions: Gateways, Banners, Murals

    Is your community putting its best foot forward to project an image of a livable community? Learn how murals, banners, and gateways can help create a great first impression. ...

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  • Getting Your Business Community on Board with Your In Bloom Efforts

    Getting your business community involved in your local In Bloom efforts is critically important. Here are some tips.

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  • Turn Blight Into Right

    Every community has areas that need some attention. Get inspired on how to turn blight into right.

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  • Right Tree in the Right Place

    It is critically important that we choose the right tree when enhancing gardens, streetscapes, parks, and natural landscapes within our communities. Each climate and soil type requires different considerations. ...

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  • Preserving Grand Old Trees

    Many grand old trees survive in spite of us. We blame them for lifting pavement and cracking curbs. We remove them to widen streets and add new buildings. But ...

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  • Monetizing the Value of Your “In Bloom” Efforts

    Ever wondered what the dollar value is of local "In Bloom: efforts? Ever tried to put that into words that municipal leaders will respond to? Ever tried to make ...

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  • 21st Century Landscape Design Concepts for 22nd Century Gardeners

    America in Bloom communities are welcoming, engaging places that promote health and happiness and draw visitors to return again and again. The ecological design work of Terry Guen, FASLA ...

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  • Well-Being Benefits of Plants

    Consumers have historically shown an inclination to purchase plants that enhance their quality of life, meaning they will purchase items that positively influence their social, physical, psychological, cognitive, environmental, ...

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  • The Link Between Beauty and Health

    AIB Special Advisor Dr. Hall summarizes the mechanisms of improved landscapes that impact human health. The link between AIB community efforts and human health not only provide additional support ...

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  • kids in a garden
    Kids Garden Activities

    Get fun activities that provide opportunities for families or informal groups to learn together, while encouraging love for nature and the environment. LEARN MORE

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  • Portsmouth, Ohio

    “Beautification is important because it says that someone cares. Plants and trees soften public spaces and give pleasure to people who crave a connection with nature in their lives. ...

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  • Lewisburg, West Virginia

    “AIB provided the cohesive framework to draw all the volunteer, civic and governmental organizations into the same room to better coordinate the beautification efforts.”

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  • Madisonville, Kentucky

    Learn how one Kentucky Community embraced change and saw transformation occur.

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  • Ironton, Ohio

    Ironton, Ohio embraced America in Bloom principles and ideas to generate programs that provide the motivation and energy to plant pride in their community.

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  • Morro Bay, California

    Morro Bay is along the Central Coast of California. Their In Bloom efforts are a story of cooperation and celebration.

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  • Belpre, Ohio

    Belpre, Ohio, has always claimed the name “Beautiful Prairie;” however, it’s only lately they reclaimed the spirit of their name.

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  • Brewton, Alabama

    Brewton, Alabama demonstrates that when it comes to making the America in Bloom program work for a community, “taking care of business” the AIB way provides opportunities for businesses to ...

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  • Ottawa, Illinois

    Wow! is the only word to describe the public/community art program in Ottawa, Illinois.

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  • Castle Rock, Washington

    Meet the Castle Rock "Water Wizards of Fertilizer Friday" fame.

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