If you’re driving through downtown Mansfield, the streets may look a little more colorful.
Forty hanging baskets adorn the streetlights. A new mural brightens up Main Street. Flowerbeds across the city are in full bloom.
July 10th and 11th 2017 – America In Bloom Judges
Doug Versaw spoke at a brief press conference Thursday morning following a Mansfield in Bloom meeting at the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce. He asks the community to help beautify Mansfield for a visit from America in Bloom on July 10 and 11.
The Richland Community Development Group’s (RCDG) Beautification Sector volunteers have been busy preparing for two America in Bloom judges who will visit Monday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 11.
America in Bloom is a nonprofit organization that promotes community enhancement with flowers, plants and trees. It sponsors an annual competition among participating communities throughout the country.
The judges are Ed Hooker, III of Maryland and Alex Pearl of Centerville, Ohio.
Hooker currently serves as the first historical architect of the National Cemetery Administration for Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. He previously served as historic architect for the Mobile Historic Development Commission and has worked with the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama State Historic Preservation Office. He’s been a judge for two years.
Pearl is a retired horticulture educator. He holds two degrees in the subject, and has been judging with America in Bloom since its beginning.
They will judge the city based on six criteria: floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation and overall impression.
“I think we will score high in heritage preservation,” said Doug Versaw, RCDG Beautification Sector leader.
An itinerary shows that the judges will stop by Oak Hill Cottage, the Mansfield Art Center and the Mansfield Reformatory. They will also see a landscaping and historic renovation project at Mechanics Bank, more landscaping at several downtown Mansfield churches and floral displays at Central Park.
Volunteers Jenni and Scott Yoder led a project at Mansfield’s Cyclops Field. Through their efforts, they got the baseball field back up and running.
Assistant Clerk of City Council Lisa Grove and about 10 other employees at the Mansfield Municipal Building, 30 N. Diamond St., completed a beautification project outside their workplace.
“Our flowerbeds were in really bad shape, so we cleared that all out and started over,” Grove said.
Mansfield in Bloom’s Versaw stresses that overall impression matters and says everyone can help in this area. He hopes that people add a potted plant on their front porch or pick up trash along the roads.