Main Street receives national atention with America in Bloom


Main Street Portsmouth in Bloom once again welcomed national judges to the city this summer to compete with dozens of other communities for awards and recognition through the America in Bloom program. The team just returned from the national symposium, where they engaged in classes, toured gardens and communities themselves, and learned a great deal. Part of that mission was to represent Portsmouth and bring back awards for their efforts, which they succeeded in.

“Going to the America in Bloom Symposium is always a wonderful time of year, because we see so much, hear from tremendous speakers, and celebrate hardworking small communities all across the country— and Main Street Portsmouth in Bloom always bring home awards,” President Sue Burke explained.

The group had stiff competition, with many communities spending the year working on development and beautification in hopes of winning prestigious honor. They managed to win two awards stemming from the summer tours reflecting their work and placed as a finalist in many other categories.

“We are honored to yet again receive awards for community efforts in improving a place we call home,” Burke said. “A lot of organizations pull together to show off the growth we strive for, and it always shows.”

The awards they were finalists in consisted of “What’s Old is New Again—Best Adaptive Reuse Project” for 535 on Second; “Alive with Flowers—Sunbeam Social Media Award” for their efforts to activate the community through social media postings; and “Innovation in Action—Best New Project or Program” for PMHA’s efforts with the Hisle Park Apartments.

The awards they received included the “Best Mural Program” for Portsmouth Murals Inc’s efforts to keep history alive on the floodwall; as well as the “Outstanding Community” in their population category.

“Main Street Portsmouth in Bloom works hard year-round to beautify, develop, and create community. We are one of many organizations striving to make Portsmouth a better place,” Burke said. “It is nice to be recognized for those efforts and I thank all of our donors and volunteers for making it possible.”

Last year’s visit left Main Street a report to reflect upon, which touched base on needs the judges saw in the community, improvement opportunities, and things the city excelled in. Many of their projects this year focused on bringing their suggestions to life, which led to the creation of the new flower beds in Tracy Park, as well as Front Street. The group now has another report to reflect on as they enter another year of improvements to downtown. Burke says they aren’t done yet and can see big things in the future.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

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