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How does your town measure up against America’s prettiest?

America in Bloom launches photo contest

America in Bloom, with cooperating sponsorship from Home & Garden Showplace and Monrovia Nursery, announces a new endeavor to encourage and recognize beautification efforts through a new annual photography contest.

Cities and towns across the United States will be evaluated on their overall beauty as demonstrated by a submitted portfolio of up to 18 photos. Entrants are invited to submit any photographs from their city.

Though not required, entrants may want to take a page from America in Bloom’s long-standing National Awards Program and provide photography exemplifying:

• Floral displays

• Landscaped areas

• Urban forestry

• Environmental efforts

• Heritage preservation

• Overall impression

In its regular National Awards Program, which involves judges traveling to cities for an in-depth, on-site evaluation, each of these six criteria are evaluated based on evidence of municipal efforts, business and community group efforts, and residential efforts with part of each score relating to community involvement across these three constituent groups.


Portfolios may be submitted from interested photographers individually, or from a coordinated effort involving the municipality, a local Chamber of Commerce, a local Convention and Tourism Bureau, or local photography stores, arboreta and botanical gardens, photography or garden clubs, and/or local garden retailers.

Photos each can be no larger than 8-inches-by-12-inches. Photos should focus on the city’s or town’s beautification efforts. Photos in each portfolio should each be clearly identified via a label on the back of each photo which includes the city/town name, total population and the party submitting the entry. Submissions should include one paragraph of up to 50 words describing who was involved in the submission and the photography.

Entries also may include numbered paragraphs corresponding to numbered photos, with paragraphs explaining the photo or the activity represented by the photo; these paragraphs should not exceed 25 words for each photo in the portfolio.

Cities will be divided into three population groups:

Small city population: Under 50,000

Media city population: 50,001 to 249,999

Large city population: Over 250,000

Judging and awards

A winner will be announced for each population category. Judging will be done by a group of anonymous judges, which will include at least one professional photographer and others involved with marketing communications, all of whom will be familiar with America in Bloom.

Judging criteria will be based on the photographs in the portfolio within any one population category which best exhibit the America in Bloom criteria. The decisions of the judges will be final. Winners will be required to submit digital files of the photography in each winning portfolio.

Three $1,500 prizes will be awarded to the individual photographer or group entry, one for each population category.

Submission information

Portfolios should be submitted no later than Aug. 5 for evaluation to:

America’s Prettiest City Photography Contest

c/o America in Bloom

2130 Stella Court

Columbus, OH 43215

Announcement of the winning cities, as portrayed by the submitted portfolios, will be made at the America in Bloom Annual Symposium and Awards Program, which will be held in Philadelphia on Oct. 2-4. Photos from the winning portfolio in each population category will be on display throughout the program. Winning cities and/or photographers are encouraged to have representatives present throughout the Symposium to answer questions about their cities.

Portfolios will be returned following the Symposium if a request is made with the submission, but America in Bloom reserves the right to use all submitted photos for promotional purposes.

Questions may be sent to America in Bloom at or visit

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