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Judges in town to evaluate county's beauty

Maurean Adams, director of the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation, describes park concept to America In Bloom judge Linda Cromer. Maurean Adams, director of the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation, describes park concept to America In Bloom judge Linda Cromer.

FLAT ROCK — Village of Flat Rock officials and park volunteers made a short presentation about the new Park at Flat Rock and answered questions from judges on a two-day visit to see if the community measures up to national beauty standards.

Flat Rock, Hendersonville, Mills River, Laurel Park and Henderson County are participating in the effort to get recognition by America In Bloom, a nonprofit organization that encourages beautification, historic preservation and volunteerism. The judges also look at community pride, and Flat Rock park volunteers displayed plenty of that.
"It's a gateway to the community," Sally Boyd, president of the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation, told the judges. "Everybody is going to see this as they come into Flat Rock and enjoy it."
The America In Bloom judges, Linda C. Cromer and Jack Clase, are here for two days visiting the four towns involved in the competition plus Bullington Gardens and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Criteria for selection as an America In Bloom community include flowers, landscaping and trees, historic preservation, environmental awareness, volunteerism and overall impression.
"We'll look at the heritage and here we are looking at the environment and we look at community involvement," Clase said. "Is there community involvement? In something like this, it's wonderful."
Members of the Flat Rock Village Council, the foundation and advisory committee all attended the visit. After viewing the park, the judges toured the Flat Rock Playhouse grounds and the new quilt block, the start of what tourism officials hope will be a quilt block trail in Henderson County.
Other stops on the tour included:

  • Historic Downtown Hendersonville, and driving tour of the historic Hyman Heights, Druid Hill and Fifth Avenue.
  • In Laurel Park, the Dummy Line, Rainbow Lake, Crystal Springs, Somersby Park, Poplar Lodge, Apple House, Rhododenron Lake Park, Historic Canal and Jump Off Rock.
  • In Mills River, the town park, dog park, Van Wingerden greenhouses and Sierra Nevada.

The judges were scheduled to attend a performance of "My Fair Lady" Thursday night.

On Friday the judges were scheduled to tour Bullington Gardens, an apple variety block and vineyards.
Mills River Mayor Larry Freeman during Thursday's town council meeting thanked Van Wingerden for providing the flowers at Mills River Park. The America In Bloom program is expected to announce the winning communities during an annual meeting in Philadelphia in late August.