Now in its second year, the Monarch Awards (“for gardens that nature loves, by gardeners who love nature”) was created out of concern for declining insect populations, especially Monarch butterflies and bees. The award celebrates gardens and gardeners in Hamilton for their contribution to a biodiverse, sustainable environment.
“In creating the award, we wanted to recognize people who plant habitat in their yards for pollinator species and wildlife in general,” says Bev Wagar, one of the creators for this initiative. “The goal is to promote the validity of gardens that are created to be ecologically functional but may fall under a non-traditional aesthetic.”
Crown Point resident and last year’s finalist, Amy Taylor, is the 2017 competition winner. Finalists include Nadia Coakley, West Hamilton; Kelly Jamieson, Crown Point; Matthew Mills, Dundas; and Katie West, Dundas.
The organizing committee for the award includes staff from the Pollinator Paradise Project (Environment Hamilton and Hamilton Naturalists’ Club) along with volunteers from the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Crown Point Garden Club, as well as individual supporters who did much of the legwork. This “alternative” garden awards program had over 50 entrants this year.
“Once again, we are thrilled by the number of applications submitted in our second year, and seeing the incredible gardens across the city” says Jen Baker, Coordinator for the Pollinator Paradise Project. “The interest is there. It just keeps growing.”
A volunteer committee evaluated the applications and chose the “Buzzin’ Dozen” semi-finalists, from which seven gardens were chosen for a visit by the judging team.
The five winners will each receive a beautiful hand-crafted wooden plaque by local woodworker Trisha Fraser. All entrants will receive a “We’re Feeding Pollinators” sign, a Monarch Awards sticker, and special early-bird shopping at the upcoming native plant sale hosted by the Hamilton Naturalists Club.
For profiles of the winning gardens, visit www.monarchawardshamilton.org/winners2017
For media inquiries, please contact:
Bev Wagar, Crown Point Garden Club
Jen Baker, Coordinator, Pollinator Paradise Project
905 549 0900