The prestigious 2013 America in Bloom national awards were announced this month, and The University of Findlay received two top honors: Outstanding Achievement for Environmental Efforts and special mention for Community’s Overall Impression.
Judges specifically pointed out the efforts by the Findlay Green Campus Initiative and noted the unique sensory and rain gardens on campus, as well as environmental efforts such as a recycling program, solar- and wind-powered residences, geothermal heating and cooling at the Davis Street Building science addition and more.
“We are grateful for the recognition these awards bring, and I commend my wonderful colleagues who work tirelessly to provide a safe, clean and beautiful campus,” said University President Katherine Fell, Ph.D.
America in Bloom executive director Laura Kunkle said, “America in Bloom is helping participants of all types achieve their potential. The accomplishments and progress shown by this year’s towns and cities is remarkable.”
Participants were judged on six criteria: overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays, across four sectors: municipal, residential, commercial and community involvement. Eight population categories were evaluated by teams of two specially trained judges.
Judges from the America in Bloom national awards program visited The University of Findlay July 8-9 to see how it ranked with landscapes in other areas of the country.
Susie Stratton, of Stratton Greenhouses, has worked with the University on its efforts to beautify campus and was the committee chair for UF’s America in Bloom contest entry. Stratton Greenhouses has been instrumental in the planning and planting of the beautiful landscapes around the 79-acre campus, which are maintained by UF staff.
America in Bloom promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.
Founded in 2001, America in Bloom is modeled after proven, successful programs in Europe and Canada. The organization offers a national awards program for cities, towns, townships, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations and identified sections of large cities. Since its founding, nearly 200 cities in 40 states have participated.