Karen Smith and Lori Kelly were looking to come up with a unique way to set Gallipolis apart from its surrounding cities.
Smith and Kelly came up with an organization called Gallipolis in Bloom. In 2005, Gallipolis began promoting its new organization.
Residents of Gallipolis were encouraged to make their yards look as attractive as possible. Homes in the area have hanging baskets, which help raise awareness for the organization.
In 2006, Gallipolis in Bloom, which is a subsidiary of America in Bloom, was in full effect.
The organization wants to improve community involvement, raise environmental issues and enhance the community.
Gallipolis in Bloom is doing all it can to get the community interested in the organization.
- Used social media, including Facebook.
- Alerted the local newspaper.
- Placed signs in yards.
- Gotten in touch with the local radio station, which has released announcements.
- Created competitions like yard of the week and business of the week to encourage community members to take part.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gallipolis has 3,644 residents. Any of those residents can volunteer for the organization. Gallipolis in Bloom’s meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
In 2013, Gallipolis in Lights was created. It’s the same concept as Gallipolis in Bloom, but it takes place in winter. The main attraction is Christmas lights, which are placed on trees in Gallipolis City Park.
One major event the organization was invited to was the National America in Bloom symposium, which was held in Philadelphia on Oct. 2-4.
Kim Canaday, who is Gallipolis in Bloom’s volunteer coordinator, Bev Dunkle, who is Gallipolis in Bloom’s president, and others were in attendance.
During the event, members of each participating community interacted with each other, and on Oct. 4, Gallipolis in Bloom and the other communities found out the results from the judges.
In June, judges from the symposium graded Gallipolis on the job Gallipolis in Bloom did to promote and execute its mission. The judges graded Gallipolis in Bloom on six criteria, including floral display, which Gallipolis in Bloom won in 2006 and 2013.
In the future, Dunkle is hopeful that fresh faces will get involved and lead the organization to new heights.
“I’d like to see growth in the organization,” Dunkle says. “I also want to see more members because I’ve seen a lot of the same faces for the last nine years.”
Gallipolis in Bloom does more than encourage people to plant flowers and keep their yards clean. It’s also raising the morale of everyone who is associated with Gallipolis.
“It’s been a wonderful addition to our community,” Canaday says. “This organization has increased the environmental effort, which helps make the city neat, tidy and clean. It gives people who visit the city a good first impression.”