Stick and Rudder Skills

Pilots are judged by their “stick-and-rudder skills,” displayed in a variety of flight conditions. The masters of the sky are those with the best stick-and-rudder skills, honed over time spent dodging clouds in the sky and expertly conquering squirrely winds. Similarly, our Tavares in Bloom flight will be evaluated by judges who focus their efforts on specific qualities. The stick-and-rudder skills of the America in Bloom program the judges will be reviewing include:

Landscaped Areas

Landscaped Areas would showcase many of our municipal properties including City Hall, the garden at the Pavilion on the Lake, as well as local business and landscapes at places of worship.  

Floral Displays

Floral Displays will include colorful pottery displayed along our sidewalks, our branded hanging baskets, window boxes or tasteful front porch groupings.     

Urban Forestry

Urban Forestry is "The art, science, and technology of managing trees and natural systems in and around urban areas for the health and well-being of communities. Practitioners combine strategic planning and best management practices with environmental stewardship education to create sustainable, cost-effective solutions for our cities and towns” is the definition of urban forestry.  The “well-being” is the key here.  Trees perform so many functions that we may not even take time to consider.  Environmentally they help to control erosion, filter pollutants and increase our air quality, offer shelter to urban wildlife, decrease storm water runoff, and they provide us with shade and beauty.  Economically trees that shade buildings can be attributed with a reduction in energy consumption and costs, they create a more inviting scenario and statistically business with some trees in their landscape experience a higher traffic volume and they increase property values inherently due to these attributes. As the definition implies the balance of trees is an art and science, too many trees can become unsightly yet too few can negatively impact communities as well by having no impact.      

Heritage Preservation

Heritage Preservation Includes built heritage – preserving old buildings.  It also includes celebrating customs and traditions like our parades and annual events. Equally important, this category addresses preservation of our natural heritage  -  our open spaces like Tavares Recreation Park, Tavares Nature Park and Wooton Park.     

Environmental Efforts

Environmental Efforts go beyond recycling to address things like protecting air and water quality.  It embodies nature and the methods we utilize to protect and promote the well-being of our natural areas.  Examples are the use of rain gardens, employing sound landscape practices, creating pollinator gardens and the removal of invasive species.   Soon we will have a wonderful park anchoring Ruby Street and that park will protect our most valuable resource, our waterfront.  A prime example of volunteerism that demonstrates the core strength of the America in Bloom program is the Love our Lakes cleanup, focusing on the removal of debris from lakes in the area. 

Overall Impression

Overall Impression is the sixth and final judging category.  Just as the name implies overall impression is just that, how impressed the judges are with all that Tavares has to offer?   Are our homes and businesses tidy?  Is our city welcoming, clean and well cared for?  Does it beckon visitors to stay a spell?