America in Bloom Gathers
by Bobby Blair 5/19/12
There was no requirement for membership. In fact everyone can join.
Holliston is about to do battle with 25 other cities and towns across the country. The weapons of choice include floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, heritage preservation, environmental efforts and the judges' overall impression. Mary Greendale, originator of the idea to enter the America In Bloom Contest (albeit after the actual filing deadline, but Holliston snuck in), led representatives of local groups in a lively discussion Thursday night. Tony Lulek representing the Agricultural Commission and Garden Club said he was glad he attended as he didn't realize half of the things going on in town.
Judges from America In Bloom arrive in town on July 18th and will be staying with the Shore family on Cassandra Lane. Lisa Hedrick representing HCAT will be helping the Holliston studio film a three-minute video for display on U-Tube about Holliston's efforts in the six selected criteria. The video will also be shown at the America In Bloom awards ceremony in Fayettesville, Arkansas, in late September. Hedrick above left, who was startled earlier this week by the visit of a young moose in her Norland Street backyard, was dismayed to learn the contest has no wildlife criteria.
The meeting was a chance for Greendale to list items under each criteria to be used as a profile of the town for judges. Robert Weidknetckt, Chairman of the Rail Trail Committee surprised those gathered with a photo of the Eight-Arch Trestle on Woodland Street aglow with flood lights. Rail Trail members along with local electrician Tom Chipman used a generator to light the 175 year old icon built by Irish immigrants on a recent week night. The trestle was built with granite from Holliston quarries.
A selection of the right type of lighting and a hook up to power at street level is hoped by the time America In Bloom judges arrive in July. A new "Welcome to Holliston" sign similiar to the one in front of Town Hall will hopefully grace either Route 16 or 126. The donor, a yet to be named organization is hopeful for the funding. The judges will also have an opportunity to visit several private gardens, a local farm, the town's Golf Club and Community Garden, and will be hosted to a potluck dinner at the Historical Society. Residents will be asked to mow their lawns, hang an American flag from each house, and pick up trash in their neighborhoods. A town-wide anti-litter day is planned for the morning of the 4th of July. For more info about America In Bloom please contact Greendale at 429-2813 or Bobby Blair at 429-6763.