america_bloom_300In 2015, the Fairview Park community participated in the national America in Bloom program. America in Bloom is a non-profit organization that provides a tested and highly regarded framework for improving the overall quality of life in a community. The program promotes civic beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.

Why is it important?

First impressions are made in an instant. Society today is very transitory – people, families, and businesses are constantly moving from place to place. There is evidence that proves people and businesses are looking to locate someplace attractive.

Place is what differentiates cities. A sense of place is what makes our physical surroundings worth caring about. If a community is unidentifiable or unattractive, new families and businesses will not move in and a community’s social and economic growth will stall. It is undeniable that well maintained buildings and properties, colorful plants, and a clean environment are reflective of a thriving, caring community.

What are the benefits?
  1. Participation in America in Bloom sends a message that Fairview Park is serious about improving its physical appearance and creating a dynamic environment that matches our claim of being A Great Place to Grow!
  2. Community collaboration and volunteerism is a natural byproduct. Fairview Park is a close-knit community and America in Bloom represents yet another opportunity to bring together key players, organizations, and residents to improve the community.
  3. The guidance provided by America in Bloom will allow the community to grasp the big picture of the civic beautification activities in Fairview Park, reduce duplication of efforts, and maximize our city manpower, money, and volunteerism to enact improvements.
  4. America in Bloom provides an objective third party perspective with experience in civic beautification and community development to identify areas of improvement.
  5. America in Bloom can be an engine for economic development. Businesses are transitory; improvements in technology allow businesses to move around faster. In addition, there is an oversaturation of retail storefronts and office space in Northeast Ohio. It is typical now that physical appearance is now at least a contributing factor if not a deciding factor in site selection.
The Tour
Photo Credit: Beth Mlady, Sun News From left, Fairview Park Development Administrator Matt Hrubey, mayor's assistant Bridget Hinkel, Mary Benko of the Fairview Park Garden Club, AIB judge Evelyn Alemanni, Emerald Necklace Inn innkeeper Gloria Cipri-Kemer, Director of Service and Development Rob Berner, Mayor Eileen Patton, Fairview Park Historical Society's Chris Gerrett and AIB judge Stephen Pategas pause for a photo before day two of the judges' city tour.

Photo Credit: Beth Mlady, Sun News
Mayor Eileen Patton, city staff, and community members with AIB judges Evelyn Alemanni and Stephen Pategas on day two of the judges’ city tour.

The primary component of the America in Bloom program is a tour each community gives to a pair of assigned judges. Based on the tour, the judges evaluate a community on six criteria: floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation, and overall impression.

The Fairview Park community hosted two America in Bloom judges on July 22 and 23, 2015. The judges took part in a two-day tour of Fairview Park, which featured destination points such as the Gemini Center, Lorain Road business corridor, PEP Prentiss Autism Center, Fairview Park Community Garden, Bain Park, the Fairview Park Cemetery, and several of our residential neighborhoods.

The Results

The Fairview Park community received three blooms out of a possible five, which is a tremendous accomplishment for a first-time America in Bloom community. Our judges also composed a full community evaluation that identified positive aspects of Fairview Park, areas for improvement, and recommendations on how to improve the civic beautification of the community. An electronic copy of the full evaluation is available below.

Fairview Park received special mention for its landscaped areas at the 2015 America in Bloom Symposium & Awards Program in Holland, Michigan.

Next Steps

It is the intent of the City of Fairview Park and its partners to use the feedback and recommendations contained in the America in Bloom evaluation to develop a civic beautification strategy for the Fairview Park community.

Program Materials
Media Coverage
Special Thanks

Thank you to the Fairview Park Garden Club, Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce, Fairview Park Community Council, and Fairview Park Junior Women’s Club, whose generosity made Fairview Park’s America in Bloom experience possible.

Thank you to the members of the Fairview Park America in Bloom Steering Committee and Co-Chair, Mary Benko, whose collaborative assistance and diligent planning efforts made the America in Bloom a wonderful experience for all.

Thank you to Fairview Park resident, Mike Johnson, whose stellar photos of the community allowed Fairview Park to meet all the America in Bloom program requirements.