Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards Enters Second Season
For gardeners in Chicago, 2017 was a good year. That’s because a group of horticultural and environmental groups decided that it was time to recognize all of the good that gardeners do for their city, and got together to create the Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards (CEGA). Yes, there had been citywide gardening awards in Chicago in the past. In fact, there was a more than 50-year history of acknowledging gardeners for their hard work, but that ended inexplicably in 2011.
Last year, that great tradition was revived, as 46 different gardens from 26 different wards were recognized in a ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center for the way they create beautiful, vibrant, sustainable and socially just communities.
The 2018 gardening season is off to a slow, cold start, but CEGA has hit the ground running. Its new website, ChicagoGardeningAwards.org, is already accepting entries for this year’s competition and will continue to do so through June 20. In addition to last year’s garden types—ornamental, vegetable, container, specialized and community gardens—this year’s awards will also include urban farms.
CEGA is presented by The Mike Nowak Show, University of Illinois Extension: Cook County, Natural Awakenings Chicago magazine, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Flower & Garden Show, Chicago Community Gardeners Association, Chicago Park District, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, GreenMark Public Relations and media sponsor Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. The competition is open to residents of the City of Chicago.
For more information and to enter, visit ChicagoGardeningAwards.org. To become a judge or a sponsor, or for more information, contact Mike Nowak at Mike@MikeNowak.net or Peggy Malecki at Peggy@NAChicago.com.