Morro Bay was recognized nationally by America in Bloom for its civic-beautification efforts with first-place national honors at that organization’s annual conference September 24-26.

Morro Bay was evaluated, along with 39 other cities, on its environmental efforts, urban forestry program, heritage preservation, landscaped areas, floral displays and its overall cleanliness and tidiness. Winning its population category entitles Morro Bay to compete against cities of the world that participate in the Communities in Bloom program.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be honored for work Morro Bay residents enjoy doing,” said Walter Heath, president of Morro Bay in Bloom. “This award recognizes the efforts of all volunteer groups in our city.”

America in Bloom “envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work and play,” according to the vision statement on its website. Other award-winning cities in their respective population categories in the 2015 competition included Lexington, Kentucky, Saratoga, California, Holland, Michigan and Winter Park, Florida.