Plotting our Course

Plotting Our Course – How does it work?

When a pilot prepares for a flight, one of the main objectives is to meticulously plan their flight. The pilot considers many items when planning a flight, things such as airports along the route, airspace restrictions and landmarks. Just as a pilot identifies and determines the path for a planned flight we too have a course charted for our Tavares in Bloom program. 

The first stop was to register for the program with America in Bloom, the deadline is February 28, 2017. We were so excited to bring this program to our beautiful city that we were the first city to register for this year!

Once America in Bloom receives all of the registrations for cities across the United States they will begin to plot their course for judging.  Groups of two judges will be assigned to each participating city. In March they will begin to contact participants and make arrangements for judges to visit the cities.  Typically, judging begins in April or May.  Florida and the southern states are the first to be judged due to our warm climates. This enables judges to visit us in a milder more pleasant time of year and to begin plotting their course across America as winter comes to an end and the landscape begins to bloom. 

Judges spend 1 ½ to 2 days in a city.  They will evaluate us in six categories:  Floral Displays, Landscaped Areas, Urban Forestry, Environmental Efforts, Heritage Preservation and Overall Impression.  They’ll visit our neighborhoods, businesses and municipal areas as part of the judging process. 

We will receive an evaluation with a score and bloom rating.  Evaluations are based on what the judges see and experience while visiting and they will provide us with an evaluation with suggestions for making Tavares yet a more beautiful city.  The evaluation is detailed and may be from 15 to 40 pages in length.

As the summer draws to an end and all the results are tabulated, the board members of America in Bloom are planning the National Symposium.  Each fall the symposium is hosted by an award winning city from a previous year.  In 2017 the national symposium will be held in Holliston, MA, October 5-7. The 2018 symposium will be hosted by Lexington, KY.  Anyone is welcome to attend the national symposium where participants gather to celebrate their achievements.  Each participant will receive a bloom rating, score and a special recognition for efforts in one of the evaluated areas. Winners in each population category are invited to advance to an international competition.

Judges going through a neighborhood

(image: four people walking along brick paved street observing the vegetation)