Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker
Tarboro’s initial foray into the America in Bloom (AIB) program came up short over the weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.
And even though the community did not win, Candis Owens, who got the program started locally, was one of 14 persons recognized as a “Community Champion” and considered for the prestigious John R. Holmes, III Community Champion Award.
A total of seven communities — out of 27 at the competition — were recognized as winners in their respective population divisions:
• McCall, Idaho – Under 3,000
• Lakeside, Ohio – 3,000 to 4,500
• Greendale, Ind. – 4,500 to 8,000
• Smithfield, Va. – 8,000 to 13,000
• Arroyo Grande, Calif. – 13,000 to 25,000
• Holland, Mich. – 25,000 to 50,000
• Fayetteville, Ark. – 50,000 to 100,000
Several communities were also singled out for specific programs, including Fayetteville for the Heritage Preservation Award, Rising Sun, Ind. for the best program for young people, Holland, Mich. for best community garden, Smithfield, Va. for best historic walking tour and Racine, Wis. for overall awareness.
Tarboro first became involved in the spring and was visited by AIB judges Jack Clasen and Billy Butterfield in mid-June. Clasen and Butterfield, who judged three other communities, looked at six criteria — scoring the community in each area.
At the time, committee member and architect, Richard Andrews said, “America In Bloom has provided a format for us to focus on ourselves, to identify things that make Tarboro special, and then to develop programs and projects to maintain and enhance them. Being recognized as an America In Bloom community will be yet another way we can boast our uniqueness, which is itself, a significant economic development tool. This program absolutely shows a link between economic development and the appearance of Tarboro.“
Members of the steering committee included Andrews, Shari Redhage, Sandra Redhage, Buddy Hooks, Candis Owens, Anne Boone Urquhart, Cheryl Gay, Carol Banks, Bob Filbrun, Sara Peveler, Barbara Campbell-Davis, Connie Sherrill, John Wooten, Pauline Nicolosi, Bobbi Martin and Betty Temple.