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America in Bloom judges return to see improvements

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Diane Clasen and Evelyn Alemanni, America in Bloom judges for Bemidji in Bloom, rated the city with one of five possible blooms when they first came here in July 2005.

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They liked much of what they saw under the various categories they judged: floral displays, tidiness, landscaped areas, urban forestry, heritage, community involvement, turf and groundcovers and environmental effort.

They also saw potential for improvement.

Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 23 and 24, Clasen and Alemanni will return to see how Bemidjians followed up on their suggestions in the five years since they first toured the city. They will present their findings at 7 p.m. Monday in the Beltrami Electric Coop Community Room.

Bemidji in Bloom is a program that recognizes and encourages efforts to care for the appearance of our community. It has brought together local government, businesses, and residents to evaluate and work on projects.

Jean Humeniuk, who initiated the Bemidji in Bloom efforts, said, "Looking back, it's amazing how many changes have taken place. When (Clasen) and (Alemanni) were here in 2005, the south shore sidewalk and overlooks were crumbled and falling apart, Diamond Point Park was a parking lot and many community places were overrun with weeds."

The judges used a numerical grading system of 1,000 points, 125 for each of the eight criteria for cities with a population of between 10,000 and 15,000 people.

Some of the challenges Bemidji took on following the judges' proposals five years ago include the Front Yard Garden of the Week. They suggested the Bemidji Pioneer publish photos of these gardens, which the newspaper has been doing each summer in the Sunday edition.

The judges said the renovation of the James Hill depot for the Beltrami County History Center should be an example of how other municipal buildings could be renovated. And the downtown planters, now a yearly tradition, impressed them in 2005.

Clasen has been a judge for America in Bloom since its inception in 2002. She has also been a member of America in Bloom's External Relations, Judges' Training, and Contest Committees. In addition to America in Bloom, Clasen has judged in Canada's "Communities in Bloom" and "WinterLights Celebrations." She has also judged in Communities in Bloom's "International Challenge" in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As a Master Gardener, Clasen's backyard was selected as one of the top 10 amateur gardens in Cincinnati by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.

Alemanni is the editor and creator of America in Bloom's newly published Best Ideas book. She is a member of the board of directors of America in Bloom and has judged for the America in Bloom program since 2003. She also serves as an international judge for the Canadian Communities in Bloom program and for the international LivCom Awards. In 2001, Good Morning America named Alemanni's garden one of the five best in the U.S.

For additional information please see ci.bemidji.mn.us.org or americainbloom.org.

Y mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

Diane Clasen and Evelyn Alemanni, America in Bloom judges for Bemidji in Bloom, rated the city with one of five possible blooms when they first came here in July 2005.

They liked much of what they saw under the various categories they judged: floral displays, tidiness, landscaped areas, urban forestry, heritage, community involvement, turf and groundcovers and environmental effort.

They also saw potential for improvement.

Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 23 and 24, Clasen and Alemanni will return to see how Bemidjians followed up on their suggestions in the five years since they first toured the city. They will present their findings at 7 p.m. Monday in the Beltrami Electric Coop Community Room.

Bemidji in Bloom is a program that recognizes and encourages efforts to care for the appearance of our community. It has brought together local government, businesses, and residents to evaluate and work on projects.

Jean Humeniuk, who initiated the Bemidji in Bloom efforts, said, "Looking back, it's amazing how many changes have taken place. When (Clasen) and (Alemanni) were here in 2005, the south shore sidewalk and overlooks were crumbled and falling apart, Diamond Point Park was a parking lot and many community places were overrun with weeds."

The judges used a numerical grading system of 1,000 points, 125 for each of the eight criteria for cities with a population of between 10,000 and 15,000 people.

Some of the challenges Bemidji took on following the judges' proposals five years ago include the Front Yard Garden of the Week. They suggested the Bemidji Pioneer publish photos of these gardens, which the newspaper has been doing each summer in the Sunday edition.

The judges said the renovation of the James Hill depot for the Beltrami County History Center should be an example of how other municipal buildings could be renovated. And the downtown planters, now a yearly tradition, impressed them in 2005.

Clasen has been a judge for America in Bloom since its inception in 2002. She has also been a member of America in Bloom's External Relations, Judges' Training, and Contest Committees. In addition to America in Bloom, Clasen has judged in Canada's "Communities in Bloom" and "WinterLights Celebrations." She has also judged in Communities in Bloom's "International Challenge" in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As a Master Gardener, Clasen's backyard was selected as one of the top 10 amateur gardens in Cincinnati by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.

Alemanni is the editor and creator of America in Bloom's newly published Best Ideas book. She is a member of the board of directors of America in Bloom and has judged for the America in Bloom program since 2003. She also serves as an international judge for the Canadian Communities in Bloom program and for the international LivCom Awards. In 2001, Good Morning America named Alemanni's garden one of the five best in the U.S.

For additional information please see ci.bemidji.mn.us.org or americainbloom.org.

mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

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