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IIB earns national award for flowers

The first year of any endeavor can be tough. There are first-time hurdles to cross and hours and hours of what may seem like endless planning.

But for Ironton in Bloom, the first year’s efforts have reaped national success. The city’s beautification program earned the criteria award for floral display at the national America in Bloom convention in Columbus.

The award means that Ironton was selected to have the best floral display of all the communities throughout the country that participated in the competition.

Carol Allen, one of the driving forces in the Ironton in Bloom, said she was “elated” by the award.

“It’s amazing what a group of dedicated community-minded people can do and this group has been fantastic,” Allen said. “And I have never worked on something that I have enjoyed more than this. This has been a grand experience.”

Allen credited not only the IIB committee but numerous other people and entities with making the first year so successful: the city government and city employees, the various churches, businesses and individuals who have planted and cared for their floral displays throughout the year, Maw Maw Shirley’s Greenhouse, which provided some of the plants.

More than 150 planters and hanging baskets were planted throughout the city. The city’s three entrances were also incorporated into the IIB efforts. Numerous residents beautified their yards as well, making the IIB a city-wide program, Allen said.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said he was also pleased with the award and thanked all of those involved in the IIB effort.

“I think it shows when people come together, things can be accomplished,” Blankenship said. “This is one accomplishment that has benefited the city.”