Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Time to make Racine beautiful"

From The Journal


"RACINE — Collect the trash, pull the weeds, shut the garage doors, and tidy the yard.

"The beautification judges are coming to town.

"A pair of international judges will arrive in Racine July 10 and spend three days evaluating the city for the international Communities in Bloom competition.

"Racine is one of only four American communities being evaluated this year, said Melissa Kaprelian-Becker, a Racine County Board supervisor who is in charge of the Discover Racine group. The international category covers locations in North America, Europe and Asia.

"The judges, Bob Ivison from England and Ed Hooker III from Camp Springs, Maryland, will evaluate Racine for its community involvement, tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape and floral displays.

"'I am always putting together projects and ways for residents to get involved in their community, all with the hopes to not only improve places and spaces, but to build civic pride,' Kaprelian-Becker said. 'Our residents, businesses, municipalities, schools, organizations, parks, and waterways really make Racine something special.'

"Communities in Bloom is a Canadian nonprofit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility, beautification and to improving quality of life through community participation and a national challenge.

"The city has a long and successful history with the organization. Racine won a national criteria award in 2012. In both 2012 and 2013, judges implored Racine to try the international competition, Kaprelian-Becker said.

"'These judges have traveled to hundreds of communities and really saw something special here in Racine,' she said. 'We made 2016 the year to go international.'

"City residents can meet the judges at the welcome ceremony 8:15 a.m. July 11 at Monument Square. The event will include food, entertainment, and gifts for those attending."

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