In an effort to encourage non-profit groups and organizations to get involved with green projects in their communities, Nature Hills Nursery created the 2012 Green America Awards. The Omaha, Neb.-based nursery plans to honor those who plant trees, shrubs and other floriculture in their local parks, schools and public spaces.
“At Nature Hills Nursery, we are in the business of growing and selling plants,” says Jeffrey Dinslage, president of Nature Hills Nursery. “Sustainability and beautification are important to our company. All of our plant production is carefully managed so the soils we depend upon are not depleted of their resources, ensuring a healthy soil environment for continued plant growth. We created the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award to give back a portion of the plants we produce annually to projects that will help reduce carbon dioxide and beautify communities.”
Past winners have included standout community garden projects, crafting a new landscape for a community park and configuring a soil erosion control plan that uses plants to steady steep river banks. Those who work to make a difference in their neighborhoods can benefit from a grand prize of $2,000 in free plants. First prize earns $1,250; second prize gets $750, and a third place project takes home $500 worth of plants. These plant awards help the organizations to continue their beautification projects.
“Our goal is to help communities reclaim land, turning eyesores into oases,” Dinslage says. “We want to help dedicated individuals, groups and organizations make their local communities better by providing a living gift of trees and plants that not only clean the air but also provide respite and a natural retreat. With each project, wildlife and beauty can once again flourish.”
Applications for the 2012 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will be accepted nationwide until June 17, 2012 and winners will be announced August 11, 2012. Winners will be selected based on votes via Facebook for each semi-finalist. Similar to the NCAA basketball tournament, each semi-finalist goes head-to-head against another to compete for the winning votes.
“This year, we wanted to give the contest a social media component by opening up the final selection of winners to the public via our Facebook page,” Dinslage says. “We encourage all of the semi-finalists to contact their own friends, members, and social networks to lobby for votes. We want to create an online ‘buzz’ for all of the wonderful gardens.”
For more information or to enter the contest, visit www.naturehills.com/green_america_awards.aspx or the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page.