Communities in Bloom

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Judges of the Communities In Bloom contest are touring Rockford's finest gardens. They stopped to smell the roses at Sinnissippi Park, then they broke for lunch at a private garden off Spring Creek Road Monday.

"I see people working very diligently to create a beauty in the environment and to create a sustainability for future development and quality of lifestyle," Margaret Stinson said.

The program director of the City of Gardens says everyone's efforts this year and last to beautify Rockford has had a ripple effect.

"It's a matter of pride issue and it attracts people to the community, so it increases tourism, people feel safer, they enjoy the community more, there's all kinds of benefits," Ruth Miller said.

Individual efforts make all the difference in this competition. When one person plants a garden it can inspire an entire neighborhood to bloom.

"Once people start working together it seems to be contagious. Everyone starts working together, people have a good time, they meet their neighbors," Miller said.

We don't have to landscape a garden like this to help Rockford win this year's contest. We can plant a few extra flowers in our yard or pick up trash that's littering our sidewalks. Then everyone can enjoy a cleaner environment.