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City wins Bloom award

The Times Antonio McClain works to remove debris and over-growth from the bushes outside the old school yesterday morning. City employees and volunteers have been working all week to spruce up the town in advance of next week’s judging. - Jason Cannon

After months of anxious waiting, the City of Demopolis was award a Three Bloom Rating during the America in Bloom national awards program Saturday.

“Many towns tell us that they win just by participating,” America in Bloom executive director, Laura Kunkle, said. “The program helps them step up involvement of residents, businesses, and the municipality to work on visible improvements.”

Demopolis was judged on eight criteria: tidiness, community involvement, environmental awareness, heritage, urban forestry, landscape, floral displays, and turf and groundcovers across three sectors: municipal, residential, and commercial.

The city scored 712 of a possible 1,000 points with the highest marks coming in tidiness efforts, heritage, floral display and community involvement.

The city scored in the 80s and 90s out of a possible 125 in all eight categories with the reception of urban forestry where a 74 was awarded.

Judges visited towns of similar populations and spent two days touring Demopolis in June. Competitors in this category also included Gallipolis, Ohio; Greendale, Ind. and London, Kent.

Demopolis’ three bloom rating came with special recognition for Community Involvement. Judges Bruce Riggs and Cindi Cope noted that the hanging baskets in the historic downtown area and at some of the city’s buildings have a “wow” effect and citizens and visitors have made very positive comments on how much of an improvement it has made to the community.

Demopolis also received a special award for its beautiful hanging baskets.