UPDATE 10/6/2014 12:00 PM
A big honor for Belpre.
The 2014 America in Bloom national awards are announced.
All cities are evaluated on six criteria.
Belpre receives a four bloom rating and the outstanding achievement award for community involvement, which only goes to one city overall.
The judges say "The commitment by its community members runs as deep and rich as their history. Residents have been known to grow up, leave the community and come back to raise their family, which is a testament to the quality of life and the people who live here."
Congratulations to Belpre!
UPDATE 7/8/2014 12:05 PM
Making Belpre beautiful.
The gardens are prepped and the judges are here.
The national America in Bloom organization has come to Belpre for three years now, focusing on the quality of life through seven different categories.
They look at historic preservation, urban forestry, floral displays, landscapes, environmental efforts and the community, plus overall impressions.
"The whole idea is to bring the community together. When you participate in America in Bloom and make the community for everyone to live and for those to visit. And Belpre is making some wonderful strides for the third year in the program, at accomplishing much," organizers said.
The judges agreed it was a very warm welcome from the Belpre community.
They were very impressed.
Arriving Monday, they will be touring the area until Wednesday.
A national competition coming to Belpre.
America In Bloom.
Judges will be here in July.
Residents are up against some challenging competitors from New York, Alabama, Indiana and Colorado.
Belpre Mayor Michael Lorentz says it's a group effort.
Everyone in the city plays a part.
And win or lose, it's great for the community.
"They come in with ideas that maybe we don't see by living here everyday. Just look around, maybe just your sidewalk needs to be trimmed. Just anything to help us look a little better," says the mayor.
The mayor says it's all about helping communities to grow.
He's hoping for a win this year but regardless, he's happy for the constructive criticism and to see everyone pitch in to make Belpre a great place to live.
Judges will be here July 7th.