Oberlin, Ohio had a "garden of the week" contest and handed out awards to residences and businesses. Now, I like this because with 52 gardens a year getting awards, you’re going to be able to get beyond the showboat gardens and acknowledge some smaller, more out-of-the-way gardens.
Fayetteville, Arkansas got an award for the "tidiest" city. Tidy? I quote: "Fayetteville’s tidiness efforts are being recognized. This is a very tidy, neat community. Over the course of their visit, the judges were impressed with the general lack of both litter and graffiti throughout the community." Tidiness and tulips. Wasn’t it Ann Richards who said that she didn’t want her tombstone to read, "She kept a really clean house" ?
And finally, among the Special Awards, is one that proves that street trees, when done properly, can be spectacular. Check out this photo taken in Ocala, Florida. According to the AIB website:
Ocala was the first city in Florida to become a Tree City USA and has maintained this title for 15 years. As part of this it has an extensive ordinance, first created in 1985, concerning all aspects of tree planting through maintenance. All aspects of urban forestry are overseen by an advisory board and the city ISA certified arborist.