doorwayHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/2/12) – Preparation for the nationwide America in Bloom contest is well underway in the city of Madisonville.

This week, a lot of focus has been given to the “overall impression” category, which Tricia Noel, Hopkins County Tourism Commission Executive Director, is the Committee Chair of.

“We met this morning and we’ve been out taking pictures of areas that we have identified as ‘target areas’ for our committee,” stated Noel.

The Overall Impression Committee is responsible for cleanliness, including a lack of litter and graffiti, as well as maintenance of public open spaces (medians, boulevard strips, streets, sidewalks, walking and biking trails, curbs, ditches, road shoulders, receptacles, etc.).

The group was quick to identify a project they were extremely passionate about and looking forward to tackling. Noel shared with SurfKY News that the committee is most passionate about the city’s exit ramps off of the Pennyrile Parkway.

“The parkway exits are the front door of our community,” said Noel. “That is the first thing that a visitor sees. That is our first impression and we have to do a better job of presenting our city.”

The Overall Impression Committee is going to be meeting with the Kentucky State Highway Department and Madisonville city officials to work out plans to clean and beautify the exit ramp areas.

bloom1 300The committee has been looking at judges’ comments and suggestions from last year’s competition and using that information to guide their endeavors. This year the chamber is sponsoring the “Golden Broom Award.” It is a local initiative that the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring as part of the America in Bloom beautification contest. The monthly “Golden Broom Award” will honor commercial businesses in Madisonville for having the best curb appeal.

The Master Gardeners present a “Yard of the Month Award” to credit the best curb appeal for residential areas. So, the “Golden Broom Award” will be an expansion on that idea. These smaller goals will, in turn, help the city as a whole achieve larger goals.

Two of the project’s co-chairs and steering committee members, Leslie Curneal and Shane Browning, assured SurfKY News that the city isn’t necessarily trying to “win” anything. The long-term effects of city beautification will be appreciated by those who live here for many years to come. Accordingly, curb appeal has a great impact on our economic development prospects and our quality of life.

What can Madisonville residents do on a smaller scale to support the common goal of America in Bloom? It’s as simple as keeping a yard mowed, picking up litter or planting a few flowers in your front yard. All these little things contribute to the beautification of Madisonville. As soon as you plant a single flower, you have already contributed to the cause.

bloom3 300An area that Madisonville scored low in last year was “color, our floral displays,” pointed out Noel. So adding just a little extra color to your yard could be that extra little boost that the city might need to obtain a higher “Bloom Rating” during this year’s contest. If you notice an area in your neighborhood that looks like it isn’t being taken proper care of, Noel suggests that you contact GoMadisonville to report the situation so it can be properly addressed.

The committee is currently compiling a list of all the volunteer organizations who have been doing community improvement projects such as the Highland Garden Club, the Woman’s Club and the Pennyrile Area Cyclists. The list will be submitted as part of our cities presentations for the America in Bloom contest.

“A big part of the contest is community involvement,” Noel explained. “So we want to involve as many people as possible. Everybody in the community should take pride in Madisonville and do their part. Its not just this small group of people trying to get this accomplished, it should be the community as a whole.”

Show your community that you care by pitching in and doing your part. This isn’t a goal that can be accomplished without your support. It is going to take all of us working together to make a difference.

To nominate a particular residence in Madisonville for the “Yard of the Month” award you can contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at (270) 821-3650.

If you would like to get involved on a larger scale on the AIB project please contact either Leslie Curneal at (270) 824-2102 or Shane Browning at (270) 245-2250.

For more information on what the city of Madisonville is doing to prepare, check out Madisonville’s official America in Bloom Facebook page by clicking here. You can also visit the City of Madisonville's online site here.

bloom2 400

To learn more about American in Bloom, including the program’s history and award categories, please visit their official website here.

To read the initial article regarding Madisonville’s participation in the AIB project click the link below.

Put Your Words to Work, Shape Madisonville’s Future Today


Jessica Dockrey
SurfKY News

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