Dianne Davis, president and founder of the America in Bloom Santa Paula Chapter, accepted the certificate presented by national AIB President Dr. Charlie Hall. The certificate, which notes AIB is “Planting Pride in our communities,” recognized the city’s environmental efforts.

Santa Paula receives 4-Blooms
in America in Bloom competition

November 28, 2014
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula rated 4 Blooms out of 5 overall and garnered special recognition for its environmental efforts and the famed Farm Workers Monument at the Annual America in Bloom conference.

It was the first year that the America in Bloom Santa Paula Chapter had entered the national competition that pits cities of like-sizes against each other for prizes in various categories.

Dianne and Dudley Davis, the owners of Do Right’s Plant Growers and the founders of America in Bloom, were on hand at the prestigious 2014 America in Bloom national awards when they were announced in Philadelphia, PA on October 4.

Linda Cromer and Ed Hooker, two specially trained AIB judges, visited Santa Paula and the towns of similar population in the division; they spent two days touring each town, meeting municipal officials, residents, and volunteers. 

Aside from Santa Paula, other competitors in the 24,001 to 50,000 population category were Winter Park, FL; Henderson County, NC; and Holland, MI.

According to the judges, “From recycling to water conservation to seismic preparedness, Santa Paula is a trendsetter in Ventura County and Southern California as the model for sustainability and environmental responsibility. With great partners such as Limoneira, Fruit Growers Lab and the Associates Insectary, Santa Paula is leading by example.”

All participants were evaluated on six criteria: overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas, and floral displays. 

Additionally they were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants and provide a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.

The Davis’, who before founding the local America in Bloom chapter had started their own program of hanging flower baskets and planters in the historic Downtown Business District, led the community-wide effort to beautify the city for the competition.

In addition, the judges were taken on tours, met citizens, business owners, community activists and elected officials, among others, and were feted at a grand barbecue held the night before their departure.

Cromer and Hooker also authored a 19-page evaluation: The report noted, “Residents have been actively working the program for four years, and that remarkable effort shows. The Santa Paula America in Bloom Committee shared with the judges their multi-year scrapbook filled with before and after photographs, newspaper articles, and written communications chronicling their efforts. Kudos to the supportive press that has helped keep the public informed about AIB efforts.”

The report also stated, “It must be noted with great admiration that the Santa Paula America in Bloom committee translated many program materials into Spanish. This AIB effort has been a tremendous opportunity for the entire community to come together for the common good, epitomizing the values that are at the core of the America in Bloom program on the national level.

“The judges appreciate the many kindnesses shown us during our tour of Santa Paula. It was our privilege to meet so many generous, knowledgeable residents invested in the city’s progress, and we look forward to learning of your future endeavors as you continue your partnership with America in Bloom.”

Cromer and Hooker also gave kudos to Do Right’s noting their efforts in beautifying the city as well as its own environmental practices and stating “Do Rights’ name tells the whole story.”

The judges also complimented community involvement in beautification efforts as well as the strong ongoing work by and leadership of AIB volunteers.

They also admired the museums, architecture and murals as well as public art such as the Farm Worker Monument that “acknowledges the legacy of agriculture in America as represented historically by many ethnic and racial groups who came to this country seeking a better life. It is the only monument in the United States dedicated to the labor of farm workers.”

Dianne Davis said she was pleased that the city was recognized on several levels and attained a 4 Bloom rating, “On our first time out, but next year we’ll do better... we have wonderful volunteers and supporters throughout Santa Paula that have made a difference in the city that only gets better each day.”

The evaluation included suggested improvements and programs that Davis is studying for future AIB and community implementation.

Dianne Davis, president and founder of the America in Bloom Santa Paula Chapter, was honored at the annual AIB conference with a Community Champion Award presented by national AIB President Dr. Charlie Hall.

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