Monday, July 11, 2016

First-ever Monarch Awards for the cultivation of pollinator-friendly, sustainable gardens: Winner announced!

Media Release
July 11, 2016


Hamilton-- First-ever Monarch Awards for the cultivation of pollinator-friendly, sustainable gardens: Winner announced!

Hamilton's first-ever Monarch Awards competition has a winner!  Kirkendall resident Glenn Barrett has received the 2016 Monarch Award recognizing gardens and gardeners in Hamilton for their contribution to a biodiverse, sustainable environment.

"Out of concern for declining insect populations, especially Monarch butterflies and bees, we decided to recognize people who garden sustainably, and create habitat in their yards for pollinator species and wildlife in general," says Bev Wagar, one of the organizers for this initiative. "We want to promote the validity of gardens that are created to be beautiful, functional and beneficial but fall under a non-traditional aesthetic." 

The organizing committee for the awards includes staff from the Pollinator Paradise Project (Environment Hamilton and Hamilton Naturalists' Club) along with volunteers from the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Crown Point Garden Club.
The idea for an “alternative” garden awards program has quickly gained momentum.

More than 50 residents submitted applications.

"We are thrilled by the number of applications submitted in this our first year," says Jen Baker, Coordinator for the Pollinator Paradise Project. "We plan to extend the invitation for applications beyond the range we set out at the start of the initiative. That is, although it's mostly volunteer powered, we want to include even more wards next year. The interest is there."  

Barrett and his partner Kim both have a deep awareness of local conservation issues--Barrett works for Environment Canada and Kim at Conservation Halton. "It’s fabulous that there is now an award to recognize that there are gardens pleasing to the eye and beneficial to nature. I hope it continues!" says Barrett.

Photo Credit: Glenn Barrett
The judging team included:  Sean James, owner of Fern Ridge Landscaping & Eco-consulting; Jodi Healy, Gardens Manager at Royal Botanical Gardens; and Master Gardener Lyn Hanna-Folkes, expert in public naturalization projects. The judges participated in evaluating the applications and visited the finalists' gardens.
Runners-up were Peter Queck (Kirkendall) and Amy Taylor (Crown Point). 

For a more detailed update please visit the Monarch Awards blog.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Beatrice Ekoko, Communications at PollinatorParadiseProject, Environment Hamilton
http://www.hamiltonpollinatorparadise.org/
905 549 0900

bekoko@environmenthamilton.org