PEC’s garden awards contest

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) believes that community and school gardens help build a sense of local community; can improve individuals’ health; are important places to learn about how our food is produced; can serve as math and science educational opportunities; and help people relate to their natural environment.

To continue to support and celebrate the numerous benefits of community gardens, PEC announced the opening of their 2013 Community and School Garden Awards contest. Last year was PEC’s first year to hold the contest, and it was a great success. Learn more about last year’s winners and nominees by visiting PEC’s website at pecva.org/gardens.

The purpose of this friendly competition is to recognize gardens in PEC’s nine-county region that celebrate the relationship between nature, food and community. PEC will award six currently active school and/or community gardens with cash awards – up to three $300 awards and three $500 awards. The 2013 contest opened in early April, and nominations will be accepted through October 11.

“Last year’s applications proved that gardens not only grow plants and vegetables, but communities and gardeners as well,” says Jessica Palmer, coordinator of PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local program. “There were a number of inspiring stories of people coming together to create a community or school garden. All of us at PEC are really looking forward to this year’s contest and nominees.”

To be eligible for PEC’s Community and School Garden Contest, a garden must be active during the 2013 growing season. Both new and established gardens can be entered. Ideal garden nominees should grow edible plants and native plants (for pollinator and wildlife habitat); provide a natural space for community interaction; and foster community empowerment and education.

Learn more about this year’s contest at pecva.org/gardens.

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