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Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 8 at Monticello High School

July 26, 2011

[BETHEL] – Teams of experts from outside Sullivan County will spend August 4 to 7 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 design.  All participants that finish will receive completion grants.

The ten experts include individuals with horticultural, planning, community and international experience.  This year’s select panel of judges includes: 

·         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.

·         Donna Harrison – Has judged over fifty communities with Communities in Bloom in Canada, six years provincially and nationally starting in 2000; has also been involved in the judging of The Winter Lights initiative for several years.

·         Michael Newhard A life-long resident and four-term Mayor of Warwick, artist and partner in a Main Street retail store; is an advocate of community re-vitalization, historic preservation, farmland and environmental protection; Warwick was 2003 national winner of America in Bloom and is the 2010 international winner of Communities in Bloom.

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

·         Peter Patel Horticulturist/Arborist for the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery; Certified Arborist – International Society of Arboriculture, Cert. Nursery/Landscape Professional, and member of the Tri-County Nursery Association; owns ArborHeights Designs, LLC.

·         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.

·         Ann Smith – An avid gardener for over 35 years; member of New York Botanical Garden, Friends of Boscobel and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; past board member of Cornwall Garden Club; garden associate specialist for Devitt's Garden & Supply in New Windsor.

·         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.

Projects are judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  Six communities selected as the most successful in completing their projects will receive second-round awards between $1000 and $10,000.  The Golden Feather Grant of $25,000 will be presented by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to one of six Category C projects. 

Recognitions will include participants in additional programs, including: mini-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.

Winning communities will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 8.  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.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. Additional funding has been secured by U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey.  Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, Kristt Company, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, Thompson Sanitation and WSUL/WVOS.

For information, contact 845-295-2445 or