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 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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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 15, 2008

"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 trophy.

"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 project's efforts....

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 possible 1000....

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.