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SULLIVAN RENAISSANCE JUDGING AUGUST 8 & 9

Awards Ceremony on August 10 at Tri-Valley School

August 3, 2009

[BETHEL] – A team of judges from outside Sullivan County will visit this year’s Sullivan Renaissance projects on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 before selecting winners in three community beautification categories.

Judges will also recognize projects with stewardship awards for excellence in the areas of historical preservation, environmental stewardship and best practices.  One community will be honored for the best overall showing of flowers.  All participants that finish will receive completion grants.

The 9 judges include individuals with horticultural, planning and community expertise: 

·         Ted Blowes – Communities in Bloom, Stratford, Ontario, Canada; national chairman of the Communities in Bloom program in Canada; has been a Renaissance judge since the program began in 2001. 

·         Nicole Franzese – Director of Delaware County Planning Department since 2000 (with department since 1990); provides technical assistance on comprehensive plans, main street revitalization, zoning review, grant writing, SEQRA compliance, watershed management issues.

·         Manna Jo Greene Clearwater’s Environmental Action Director since 2000; formerly recycling coordinator/educator for Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency; lifelong environmental professional and community activist; serves on Rosendale Town Council.

·         Mary Lewis – Founder and principal of Barncroft, a garden design firm; chair of Zone III 2008 Annual Meeting of the Garden Clubs of America; past president of Orange and Dutchess Garden Club; a Cornell University graduate, she studies botanical art and illustration at New York Botanical Garden.

·         Alice McAdams – Artist, life member of the Art Students League of New York; member of the National Arts Club; Gramercy Park; past president of Orange and Dutchess Garden Club; trustee of Friends of Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh, a state historic site.

·         Tim Stoddard – Has a design degree and lived in Western Europe for years where he pursued an interest in architecture and landscape design; works on projects for the federal government, corporations, community and private homes; lives on the Jersey Shore and heads his community Beautification and Landscape Committee.

·         Deborah Sweeton – President and co-owner of Techni-Growers Greenhouses Inc.; published two books in the Common Sense Gardener series; past OFA board member; chairs Cornell Floriculture Advisory Committee; co-chaired Warwick in Bloom when it won America in Bloom in 2004; won 1st and 2nd prize in 2007 Kathy Puhfal container competition at Cornell University.

·         Michael Sweeton – General manager/marketing director for Techni-Growers with clientele that includes the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens; holds degrees in chemical engineering and marketing; NYS Certified Nursery Professional; is also Town of Warwick Supervisor, and serves on Orange County Citizens Foundation Board and the Orange County Planning Board.

·         Alden Thayer – Trained at the New York Botanical Gardens; owns and operates the landscape design/build firm of Alden’s Country Gardens in the Town of Denning; also Earth Energy Contracting for green construction; certified by the Building Performance Institute as a Building Energy Auditor; chairs the Planning Board in the Town of Denning.

Projects are judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  Six communities judged the most successful in completing their projects will receive second-round awards between $1000 and $10,000.  The Golden Feather Grant of $50,000, obtained by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, will go to one of four large community development projects. 

Winning projects will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 10.  Doors for the celebration at the Tri-Valley Central School Theater in Grahamsville, NY open at 6:00 p.m.  Entertainment will include a “Catskill Mountain Trilogy” by Chestnut Creek, Refreshments will be served; sponsored in part by Jim and Melissa Rennison.  The awards program begins at 6:45 p.m.

Major funding for community development projects comes through a grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  Sponsorships have also been provided by WSUL/WVOS for Category A projects and by Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102 for Category B projects.

A special Showing of Flowers Award will be granted in each category, with one of these three honored as the best overall.  Stewardship Awards will be given for Historic Preservation, Environmental Stewardship and Best Practices.  These are sponsored and presented by: The Chapin Estate; Jeff Bank; Kristt Company; The River Reporter; Seneca Indian Nation and Rotate Black; and the Sullivan County Democrat.

Additional recognitions include: participants in the mini-grant program; school grant recipients; municipalities that have removed buildings or cleaned up roadsides; demonstration grants to seasonal communities; project maintenance grants; and environmental demonstration grant projects.  Young people will be acknowledged for participating in the intern leadership program.  Scholarships will be announced by SCCC Foundation and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or www.sullivanrenaissance.org.