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Southwest Missouri News--Branson

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area

Next spring's visitors to Branson could be tiptoeing through more tulips and other flowers if the new Branson in Bloom Committee of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce succeeds in reaching some of its goals.

With a mission to increase tourism during the months of April, May and early June, the committee was formed with representatives from the city of Branson, Blossoms of Branson, Missouri Department of Conservation and several area businesses.

Several committee members traveled to Lompoc, Calif., to get a behind-the-scene look at the famous Lompoc Valley Flower Festival June 24-26.

The committee also set 10-year goals to include the following:

?The preservation of the natural beauty of the Ozarks.

?Planting of signature plants such as the Dwarf Victor Crape Myrtle and signature trees and shrubs.

?Assurance that public and private commercial spaces contain colorful impact displays and plantings including "gateway" displays at the entrances to Branson.

?Planting and nurturing wildflower trails that will bloom a minimum of 45 days.

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