AIB Judge Patrick Bones, APLD

History of the America in Bloom Program
June 4, 2009, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A short synopsis relating to how America in Bloom was birthed follows;

A movement was started in France after World War II to make towns and villages bloom again.  The movement was named “Villes Et Villages Fleuris” or France in Bloom.  The French movement was made official in 1959 and presently enjoys the involvment of over 11,000 local councils, villages and/or communities.  This program is run by the Department of Tourism and Agriculture and focuses on Trees, Shrubs and Flowers and its goals are Tidiness, Environment, Flowers and Tourism.  (

There is a similar program operating in Ireland that is over 50 years old named Tidy Towns of Ireland.  It currently has over 700 communities involved and it is government run by the Department of Environment, Heritage, and local Government.  Its focus is on a broad criteria related to Tidiness and Litter Control.  Its goals are a Cleaner Environment and Tourism Investment.  (

Britain in Bloomhas existed since 1963 and was started by “Tidy Britian Group”.  This program currently involves over 1,400 communities in different population categories and has regional as well as national competitions.  Their focus is on Landscape, Environment, and Community Involvement.  The goals are Pride, Volunteerism, Litter Control and Tourism.  (

Communities in Bloom began in Canadain 1995 and started with 29 communities.  It currently has over 500 communities involved and is a non-profit organization with participation by Parks and Recreation groups and there are provincial and national competitions.  They incorporate 8 different criteria in evaluating or judging the involved communities including the following: Tidiness, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Heritage, Urban Foresty, Landscape, Floral Displays and Turf and Groundcover.  Their goals are the Environment, Heritage and Community Involvement.  (

America in Bloombegan in 2001 as a pilot project with Canada’s Communities in Bloom.  The American version of this program uses the same 8 criteria when judging a community;  Tidiness, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Heritage, Urban Forestry, Landscape, Floral Displays and Turf and Groundcover.  The goals of the American program are the Environment, Heritage and Community Involvement. (

In the eight years the America in Bloom program has existed or been active in the US 172 cities have been judged in 38 states and over 32 million people have been affected.  In 2009 there are 29 cities being visited and judged by the volunteer AIB judges. 

America in Bloom won the Urban Beautification Award for 2009 from the American Horticultural Society.


4 Comments so far
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Great synopsis, Patrick!! Did you write this? I am now traveling in Canada for Communities in Bloom International – using their new judging grid with 6 criteria. Very interesting. All the best, partner! Katy

Comment by Katy

Dearest Katy:

I merely took information from different sources and compiled it so it would make sense to someone that wanted to know what the AIB program was and where it came from, the history, etc. I thought the history of the program was very interesting and needed to be shared. Great to hear from you! We move to Los Angeles, CA tomorrow afternoon! I know you are enjoying your time judging in Canada. Best wishes! Hope to see you sometime this year! My best, PCB

Comment by aibbones

Nicely done Patrick. I have made a copy for my files. Hope you are doing well in CA.

Comment by Bruce

Thanks Bruce for your kind words. I always thought the history of the AIB program was interesting. Doing fine in So Cal. Love it here but still no job. Still looking. Unemployment is 12% in LA County. Still optimistic and enjoying life. The weather is great! Take care. Good to hear from you. PCB

Patrick C. Bones, APLD Brighton Landscape Design

Comment by aibbones

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