Madison has won a prestigious national award from America in Bloom..
The city received AIB's Overall Impression Outstanding Achievement Award, the highest award presented by the non-profit that promotes nationwide beautification programs and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants and trees. Mayor Mary and Miriam Ethridge, the city’s code enforcement officer, received the award on the city's behalf at America in Bloom's national symposium Oct. 3-5 in St. Charles, Illinois.
“It’s exciting to know that people from other states see what we see in Madison every day,” Mayor Mary said about the award.
Communities of all sizes compete for the Overall Impression Award. Two judges visited Madison in June to observe and assess the city for for its efforts in community vitality, flowers, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, celebrating heritage and overall impression.
“This award recognizes Madison’s commitment to making the community more welcoming and attractive. This award recognizes communities that excel in leadership and policy; amenities; and overall condition and maintenance of the built environment,” Laura Kunkle, executive director of America in Bloom, said.
This is Madison’s first year in the America in Bloom program.
The two visiting judges said that Madison immediately makes visitors feel welcomed. “You realize that this community is working hard to make Madison a great place to live, work and play. There is no doubt that you instantly feel that there is something very special going on here.
"Then you also notice that there isn’t a single piece of trash anywhere on the city streets, the turf is picture perfect and graffiti doesn’t exist anywhere. You’ll find beautiful water features, lamp posts, benches, bicycle racks, drinking fountains, and containers/planters gracing the city, and billboards, and posted flyers are non-existent,” the judges said.