Bloomin’ judges to rate BYU flora

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    By Angela Rose

    BYU will put its best foot forward next week in its version of a beauty contest.

    Two judges from America in Bloom will visit BYU June 27 to 28 to rate the campus grounds as part of a national beautification campaign and contest.

    ?We are well above the expectation around the nation,? said Bruce Maw, BYU campus landscape architect. ?We are saying, ?let us show you what we?ve been doing and what we?ve already done.??

    BYU is one of 49 locations competing in the AIB contest that promotes community involvement, patriotism, civic pride and beautiful landscapes.

    ?Everyone is working towards a common goal of just a better place to live in,? AIB Administrator Laura Kunkle said. ?This competition helps us work towards that.”

    AIB will evaluate BYU in eight categories: floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage conservation and community involvement.

    AIB, an independent, nonprofit organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, initiated the competition four years ago. This is the first year BYU will participate.

    Maw said he thinks BYU will rank high in recycling, environmental awareness and heritage conservation.

    When the BYU grounds crew decided to participate in the contest, they agreed on two main objectives. First, they planned to recognize the workers, and second, they wanted to evaluate how BYU was doing.

    ?We have grounds people that work day after day, and they don?t hear the comments that visitors say,? Maw said. ?We hope to acknowledge their efforts and bring recognition to those people.?

    Landscapers have prepared for four months and created a ?brag book? that highlights campus strengths. Maw said he is proud of the diverse areas around campus and the unique sense each has.

    Despite all the preparation, many students are still unaware that AIB is coming next week. Megan Tate, a student who works in the BYU grounds office said she had not heard of the competition but thinks the work done helps the BYU environment.

    ?I don?t think everyone notices, but it creates a great atmosphere for learning and is a great part of the educational experience,? she said.

    Judges will tour and review 80 percent of BYU campus.

    The competition results will be revealed at the America in Bloom awards symposium, Sept. 8 to 10 in Cleveland.

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