Company and agency representatives from across Blount County were all in the mood to shout “Bravo” on Thursday, June 9, as Keep Blount Beautiful announced the winners of their annual contest.
The BRAVO! Awards are hosted by Keep Blount Beautiful and the Blount County Council of Garden Clubs and are in their 18th year. The awards are a way to praise local businesses and organizations for their landscaping and beautification efforts. Attractive businesses reflect a positive image to Blount County citizens and visitors, organizers said.
Landscape judging took place May 23 by a panel of Blount County Council of Garden Clubs judges: Lisa Phipps, Martha Frink, Judy Kopp, Pat Landry and Wilma Buczek.
The judges have studied horticulture and landscape design. Among the criteria for the awards were cleanliness, originality of landscaping, environmental impact and visual effect. The judge’s grade on a numbers scale with the winner receiving the highest score.
The Keep Blount Beautiful board members judged the Building Reuse category.
The 2011 Landscaping winners are: Mountain National Bank, Acme Block & Brick, Foothills Land Conservancy, Out of Eden Garden Center and Bristol & Bragg Jewelers.
Other nominees were the Maryville Housing Authority, Family Inns of America, Foothills Podiatry, Laurel Valley Community and Golf Resort and Trillium Cove Shopping Village.
Terry Bragg accepted the honor on behalf of his wife, Starr Bragg, owner of Bristol and Bragg. “She would be very, very appreciative of this,” he said, then praised Sam Love who did the work in creating the landscaping at the business on Watkins Road in Maryville.
Julie and Gary Bridenbaugh, owners of Out of Eden Garden Center, were pleased with the award. “There was a lot of very good landscaping with the other nominees,” Julie Bridenbaugh said. “It’s a real honor.”
Building Reuse Winner is National Fitness Center. Other Building Reuse nominees included Kevin Adams Cabinetry, Something Savory and the Market at High and Washington.
“I thank you,” said Rob Jones with National Fitness. “It took a long time for this to be done, and it was one of our best designs.”
Keep Blount Beautiful board member Tim Self was honored as he rotated off the board after six years of service. Self said former coordinator Kristi Falco first encouraged him to get involved with the organization, and he praised current coordinator Charlene Desha for her service. Self said that throughout his time working with the organization, he learned the importance being willing to work to clean up streets and roads in Blount County and be involved with recycling. “You have to be intentional about caring,” he said.
Self said the work of volunteers with Keep Blount Beautiful inspires others to care about their environment. “Those actions have inspired others to be concerned with recycling and not be sloppy with environmental stewardship,” he said.