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Winning projects will be announced at the
The 11 judges include individuals with horticultural, planning and community expertise:
· Nicola Coddington – Energy Conservation Coordinator, Town of Greenburgh, NY, the first town in the state to require new residential construction to meet energy efficiency standards; appointed to the New York State Renewable Energy Task Force.
· Nicole Franzese – Delaware County Planning Director since 2000; with the planning department since 1990; served as a Town Planning Advisory Service Planner for 17½ years and provided technical assistance to communities.
· Manna Jo Greene –
· Carson Helfrich – Community Planning and Management Associates, Paupack, PA; works with municipalities to develop comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances and tools to address growth and development issues.
· Mary Lewis – Previous judge; Cornwall, NY; Past President of the Orange and Dutchess Garden Club, Inc. and current chair of Zone III 2008 Annual Meeting of the Garden Clubs of America.
· Karen Schneller-McDonald – Natural resources planner and environmental specialist; Hickory Creek Consulting LLC, Red Hook, NY; provides natural resources planning services to municipalities and on a project-specific basis.
· Tim Stoddard – Previous Category C Judge; Pratt Institute graduate, has provided architectural design concepts and on-site management for federal government, corporation and residential projects.
· Deborah Sweeton – Owner of Techni-Growers Greenhouses, Inc. /General’s Garden, Warwick, NY; member of Cornell Greenhouse and Controlled Environment Agriculture Advisory Board, Extension’s Greenhouse Program Work Team, and Agricultural & Food Systems Council.
· Michael Sweeton – Owner of Techni-Growers Greenhouses, Inc. /General’s Garden, Warwick, NY with almost 30 years in the gardening business; Warwick Town Supervisor.
Twelve 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 seven large community development projects. All participants that finish will receive completion grants.
Communities have been hard at work on 46 projects since initial grants were made in March. Major funding for community development projects comes through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic. Projects are judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.
Certificates will also be given to 15 communities that participated in the mini-grant effort and to 10 school groups as part of the “Spruce Up Your School and Community” program. Thirteen municipal cleanup projects will also be acknowledged. And 24 young people will be recognized for participating in a gardening internship program where they learned horticulture while assisting Renaissance projects. Scholarship awards for
For a list of the groups and projects or more information call