Gardens must be on a residential property in the City of Hamilton.
The entire property will be considered, not just the front yard.
The contest is not open to members of the judging team or their families.
There is no charge to enter.


Judges will be volunteers. Judges will be chosen for their expertise in gardening for sustainability and bio-diversity. They will be briefed about the criteria and expectations to arrive at a fair decision.

The Monarch Awards Organizing Committee will do an initial evaluation based on the completed questionnaires (essays) that accompany each entry. Several gardens will be chosen to to forward to the judging team who will chosen the “finalist” gardens they wish to visit. The judges will arrange visits, in two groups of at least two, to these gardens. One winner and at least one finalist will be chosen based on visit and information received from gardeners on site.


Entrants may submit digital photos with their entries. These photos may be used by the organizers for brochures, videos, web site, media releases, newsletters, annual reports, magazine/blog articles. Photos may be used only for educational and promotional purposes– to teach about and promote the use of native plants and sustainable and nature-friendly gardening practices.

Prizes / Benefits

If they do not already have one, all entrants will receive a Pollinator Paradise “We’re Feeding Pollinators garden sign to display through the Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Garden Certification Program. Entrants who already have a sign will receive a Monarch Awards sticker to put on it.

All finalists will be recognized in the project promotional information and on the web site. The winner will be presented with a work of garden art that represents the Monarch Award and the year won. Caterpillar winners will be presented with a letter of recognition from Mayor Fred Eisenberger.