Working Farms and Food

Awards for Community & School Gardens

Does your school have a  garden? Do you know of a fun community garden? Help The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) recognize community and school gardens throughout the northern Piedmont by letting us know about great community or school gardens in your area. The purpose of this friendly competition is to recognize gardens that celebrate the relationship between nature, food and community, by awarding six currently active school and/or community gardens with cash awards. PEC will make up to three $300 awards and up to three $500 awards.

 
Community bonding activities strengthen a community’s health and overall ability to sustain an effective relationship between all members, leaders, and the local wildlife. School gardens, and broader community gardens, are a tool to do just that: provide some financial, food, and habitat security while also actively learning, having fun, and encouraging community involvement. We will likely give out our next awards in 2015.

PEC believes that gardens:

  1. Are special places for building local community and improving individual health
  2. Are important places to learn how food grows
  3. Are perfect places for learning and teaching math and science
  4. Help people relate to the natural environment

Garden Eligibility

  1. Garden may be new, or an existing, long standing feature in your school or community
  2. Garden must be active sometime during the 2013 growing season
  3. Garden must be located in one of the nine PEC counties: Albemarle County, Clarke County, Culpeper County, Fauquier County, Greene County, Loudoun County, Madison County, Orange County, & Rappahannock County
  4. Garden should be a community effort, not an individual’s home/personal garden
PEC wants to recognize healthy community gardens that include all of the features listed below. A garden may feature edible plants, habitat or beauty, but all gardens should to some extent:
  1. Grow edible plants
  2. Provide pollinator and other beneficial wildlife habitat
  3. Include native plants (and limit invasive non-native plants).
  4. Provide a natural space for community interaction
  5. Foster community empowerment or education 
 
PLEASE NOTE:
  • This is NOT A GRANT to start a garden.
  • Nominated gardens should not be private home gardens or commercial farms -- our intention is to honor community or school gardens that are tended by multiple people. 
  • Anyone can nominate a garden, nominators do not have to be directly related to the garden.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who were not 2012 winners.
 

How to Enter

  1. Nominate a garden by filling out an Entry Form
  2. Attach 2 to 10 photos of the garden - at least one photo should illustrate community or student involvement. 
  3. Submit the Entry Form-- Email your responses to the questions and attach your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or print and mail your responses with pictures to:
 
The Piedmont Environmental Council
Awards for Community and School Gardens
410 East Water Street, Suite 700
Charlottesville, VA 22902
 

Review Process

All nominations will be reviewed by a PEC multi-county committee. Awards will be selected based on their fulfillment of the criteria outlined above. Awards will be announced by November 15th. 
 

Submission Deadlines

  • Early nominations for spring and summer gardens are encouraged. 
  • Don’t forget to enter - Nominate your garden as you wrap up your gardening season!
  • Final Deadline for Submission:  Our next contest will be in 2015.
     

2013 Winners

See our 6 winners from last year >>

Questions?

Please contact Jessica Palmer, PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 434-977-2033 ext.24

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