North Canton was honored for promoting beautification projects in the city through the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements at America in Bloom's national awards program.

North Canton received a 4-bloom rating out of a possible five blooms and received special recognition for its Landscaped Areas. America in Bloom judges Bruce Riggs and Susie Stratton visited North Canton and communities of similar populations, meeting municipal officials, residents and volunteers. Other competitors in the 18,000-25,000 population category were Athens, Ohio; Greenwood, S.C.; and Madisonville, Ky.

All participants were evaluated on six criteria: overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas and floral displays. Additionally, they were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.

"America in Bloom is helping towns and cities of all sizes achieve their potential," said America in Bloom Executive Director Laura Kunkle in a news release. "Every year, our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year's group is again remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live in America."

To date, more than 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the program. Registrations for the 2018 national awards program can be submitted until Feb. 28, 2019. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.