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 apply.


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 fair evaluations using a scoring rubric developed by the Monarch Awards Organizing Committee.

The Monarch Awards Organizing Committee will do an initial evaluation based on the completed questionnaire and photos. Outstanding gardens will be forwarded to the judging team who will choose the gardens they wish to visit. The judges will arrange visits, in groups of at least two.

There is no ranking of entrants and no set number of awards given each year. Award recipients will be chosen simply by whether their gardens meet the Monarch Award standard or not.


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.


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.

All award recipients will receive a plaque that can be mounted on a stake and displayed in your garden or mounted on a wall.

photo of Monarch Award plaque

Monarch Award plaque. Can be mounted on a stake or a wall.

All award recipients will be recognized in the project promotional information and on the web site.