Newsletter of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.
Volume XXV Number 4 Nov 2008
NORTH MANCHESTER WINS AMERICA IN BLOOM CONTEST
Reprinted with permission from News Journal, October
"Congratulations to the entire community of North
Manchester on winning the 2008 America in Bloom contest in
the 5,000 to 10,000 population category!" America in Bloom
(AIB) national judge Evelyn Alemanni said. "Your diligence,
hard work and talent are a credit to your beautiful town,"
she told the AIB committee.
AIB committee members Leesa Metzger, Christa Kolster-Frye
and Mary Ann Swihart attended the annual AIB Symposium and
Awards Gala in Columbus, OH, October 2-4, where the
community of North Manchester was lauded and awarded an
honorary plaque and the national competition's first place
"We are so proud of the acknowledgement received for the
beautification efforts and strides taken to enhance the
quality of living in North Manchester," AIB Vice-Chair
Christa Kolster-Frye said. "We could never have brought this
kind of national recognition for our beautiful town home to
the community if it weren't for the efforts of many
different individuals and groups...."AIB Chair Leesa Metzger
said bringing the first-place trophy home to North
Manchester was exhilarating, but the true winners are the
people of North Manchester who have supported the AIB
The local AIB efforts have been funded and supported by
the Community Foundation of Wabash County, the Town Council,
Manchester Tourism, Main Street Inc., the NM Garden Club and
fundraisers held by the AIB committee.
North Manchester also received a "Special Recognition"
for its Historic Preservation, one of the contest's eight
criteria segments. Out of a possible 125 point score, North
Manchester's Historic Preservation received a score of 115.
Judge Alemanni said that the heritage of North Manchester is
one of its strongest areas. She applauded the hard work of
the Historical Society in the creation of its museum. She
commented on the well-maintained collection of historical
archives and beautifully constructed displays in the museum.
She also extolled the efforts of the ongoing Thomas Marshall
Birthplace Home project, citing it as an "important piece of
history worthy of its ongoing preservation efforts."
National AIB spokesperson Laura Kunkle explained further
why Manchester was given special recognition for its
Historical preservation: "Few towns of this size can boast a
29,000 sq. ft. museum with more than 16,000 artifacts. The
Historical Society uses state-of-the-art techniques to
document and preserve this town's rich heritage. Displays
and vignettes have been created by volunteers and feature
excellent interpretation. The Historical Society provides
signs indicating the construction date of heritage homes,
and a brochure is available describing a walking tour that
takes visitors past many of them."
In the seven other AIB contest criteria categories the
judge's evaluation scored as follows: Tidiness Effort, 108
pts.; Environmental Effort, 99pts.; Community Involvement
109 pts.; Urban Forestry 100 pts., Landscaped Areas, 94.5
pts.; Floral Display, 105 pts.; and Turf and Ground Cover
Areas, 92.5 pts; with an overall score of 823 out of a
Alemanni also recognized the exemplary efforts of
businesses within the town's commercial district….Alemani
also admired the many beautiful private gardens and
well-maintained residential neighborhoods, streets and tree
lawns. Manchester's involvement in Tree City, USA was
especially noted as Alemanni called Manchester a "beautiful
town in a forest."
"North Manchester's most important asset is its hard
energetic, lovely people who take such pride in their town.
Many families have lived there for generations. They are the
lights of their world, working together with talent,
enthusiasm and joy in searching for projects and
implementing them with excellence," Alemanni concluded.