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September 23, 2018

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Bluffton America in Bloom Outstanding Achievement winner

Urban Forestry Award winner; special mention for village floral displays

Bluffton is the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award winner in the Urban Forestry Award category presented by America in Bloom.

Steve and Susie Stratton accepted the award for the village in a symposium held Oct. 7 in Holliston, Massachusetts. This is the first year that the village has entered the national competition.


The reason the urban forestry award is so impressive is that it includes all the cities participating in the America in Bloom judging from villages of 200 to cities over 50,000 such as Lexington, Kentucky.

“This is truly due to the tree commission and the work labeling the trees in the Arboretum from the Girl Scouts,” said Susie Stratton.

“The judges were very impressed with our arboretum and volunteerism,” she added.  

“Bluffton also received a special mention at the symposium recognizing the village floral displays,” said Stratton.

America in Bloom judges visited Bluffton on July 20 and 21, and scored the community in various categories.

Susie Stratton assisted in Bluffton’s preparations for judging.

All participants were evaluated were evaluated on six criteria:
• overall impression
• environmental awareness
• heritage preservation
• urban forestry
• landscaped areas
• floral displays

Additionally, communities were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential, and commercial sectors.

America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially-trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.

America in Bloom executive director, Laura Kunkle, said, “America in Bloom is helping towns and cities of all sizes achieve their potential. Every year our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year's group is again remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live in America.”

To date, more than 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.