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Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 9 at Monticello High School

July 29, 2010

[BETHEL] – Teams of experts from outside Sullivan County will spend August 5 to 8 visiting this year’s Sullivan Renaissance projects before selecting winners in three beautification categories and honoring one community for the best overall showing of flowers.

Judges will also recognize projects with stewardship awards for excellence in historical preservation, the environment and best maintenance practices.  Three special community development grant projects will be acknowledged.  All participants that finish will receive completion grants.

The ten experts include individuals with horticultural, planning and community expertise.  This year’s judges are: 

·         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. 

·         Birgitta Brophy – Assistant Professor in the Landscape Contracting Program at SUNY Delhi since 1997; and landscape architectural consultant to private clients and municipalities for public projects including "Main Street" revitalization studies/designs and landscape master plans.

·         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.

·         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.

·         Michael Newhard A life-long resident and four-term Mayor of Warwick; artist and partner of a successful Main Street retail store; he has been an advocate of community re-vitalization, historic preservation, farmland and environmental protection; the village was the national winner of America in Bloom in 2003 and is the sole representative for this year’s international competition, Communities in Bloom.

·         Linda Onofry – Retired Montessori school teacher at the Homestead School in Glen Spey; grew up and reside in Port Jervis; member of the Garden Club of Orange & Dutchess Counties for 19 years, currently serving as its President. 

·         Mike Pogue – Senior forester for Region 3 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he manages state and public lands, and works on urban forestry; lives in Cornwall, NY.

·         Karen Schneller-McDonald – Ecologist and wetland specialist; Hickory Creek Consulting LLC, Red Hook, NY; provides natural resources planning, wetlands identification, and environmental impact assessment services to municipalities and on a project-specific basis.

·         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.

·         Anna Lise Dyhr Vogel – An approved Garden Club of America Artistic Flower Arranging Judge, she has entered in numerous flower shows throughout the country, receiving many national awards; became an active member of The Garden Club of Honolulu, Hawaii in 1990; although flower arranging is her passion, she enjoys working in her perennial gardens.

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 five large community development projects. 

Winning projects will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 9.  Doors for the celebration at the Monticello High School Auditorium in Monticello open at 6:00 p.m.  Refreshments will be served; the awards program begins at 6:45 p.m.

Additional recognitions include participants in additional programs, including: mini-grants; school grants; seasonal communities; maintenance grants; and environmental grants.  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.

For information, contact 845-295-2445 or