Time to Enter Third Annual Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards

When does an event become a tradition? If the first year is inaugural and the second year is a return, is it the third year? Regardless of the label, in 2019 the Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards (CEGA) is starting its third season as the preeminent citywide gardening competition.

        In 2018, some 65 gardens representing 33 wards and 60 Chicago communities were honored at the CEGA awards ceremony at the Garfield Park Conservatory. In the two years of the contest, more than 100 gardens and the people behind them have been recognized for the hard work and creativity that make Chicago a healthier, more beautiful, more sustainable and more socially just place to live and work. 

        April 15 marked the launch date for this year’s competition. Entries will be accepted through July 7, so there’s no need to panic about Chicago’s chilly spring weather. Garden categories include ornamental, vegetable, container, specialized, community gardens and urban farms. The competition is open to individuals and groups in single-family homes, large and small multi-unit buildings, schools, churches, businesses and more.

        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, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, 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.



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