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America In Bloom judges visit next week

Professional volunteer judges from the America in Bloom national awards program will visit Henderson County next week to evaluate the community's strengths and opportunities for improvement in overall impression, environmental efforts, heritage, landscaped areas, urban forestry, floral displays, and community involvement.

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This is Henderson County’s third year as an America in Bloom participant. It joins Saratoga, Calif.; St. Charles, Ill.; and Midland, Mich.; in the 30,000 to 50,000 population category.

In addition to issuing a detailed written evaluation, the judges provide a bloom rating and give other awards in a variety of categories. The judging team members who will visit next Monday and Tuesday are Karin Rindal and Pam Turrell.

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. She 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.

Turrell holds a Sustainable Landscape Certificate from Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, and is studying Landscape Design and Maintenance at Columbus ﴾OH﴿ State Community College. She worked in partnership to launch “Greenhope”, a web based business selling native trees and shrubs as gifts. Turrell is a passionate home gardener, interested in backyard wildlife, native plants in the landscape, and attends many horticulture‐related conferences.

To date, nearly 250 communities from 41 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Awards will be announced on Oct. 6-8 at AIB’s National Symposium and Awards, held this year in Arroyo Grande, Calif. The nonprofit organization envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work, and play – benefiting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism.