A River Walk Through History

Jennifer Zurko

The folks attending this year’s America in Bloom (AIB) Symposium spent a crisp, cloudy fall afternoon full of local history, community beautification and some wildlife sightings. This year’s host of the 18th annual symposium held in early October was the town of St. Charles, Illinois, a western Chicago suburb, and past AIB participant and award winner.  

The art deco stone clock tower in the background is the municipal building in historic downtown St. Charles, built in 1940 and home to the town’s local government ever since. More than 160 tour attendees walked along the Fox River (seen on the lower right) and the downtown area to hear what St. Charles has been doing to preserve, enhance and educate local residents and tourists on its landmarks and public parks.

The AIB Symposium itself was packed with speakers, tours and receptions in a three-day timeframe, culminating in the annual awards banquet where they recognized more than 30 different communities in different categories, including by population, Community Champion and the newer YouTube Video Award.

Want to learn more about AIB or register your own community? Go to GT