Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards – Ceremony Sun. Sept. 24, 2pm

City Gardeners to Receive Awards

Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards Logo

The Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards (CEGA) presentation is to be held September 24, 2017 at the Chicago Cultural Center from 2pm to 4pm. Doors open at 1pm. ​The Cultural Center is located at: 78 E Washington St. Chicago IL, 60601. At the corner of Michigan and Randolph.

Nearly 50 gardeners from across the city will be honored for their efforts at the ceremony to include a keynote address by strategist Suzanne Malec-McKenna, former executive director of the Chicago Wilderness Trust and past commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Environment. This event recognizes the award-winning gardens entered this summer in the inaugural CEGA competition.

The citywide non-professional gardening competition was launched this year to acknowledge the many gardeners that help to make Chicago a vibrant place to live and work. Residents and business owners from 26 different wards entered the contest.

“We’re pleased to be reviving a great Chicago tradition, and are thrilled with the response from gardeners across the city,” says co-organizer Mike Nowak. “Behind every garden is a story, and we’ve been fascinated and moved by how gardens of all kinds are woven into the fabric of our everyday life in Chicago’s neighborhoods.”

Entries included ornamental, vegetable, container and specialized gardens and were further broken down into categories for residential small, residential large, school and organization gardens, as well as a separate category dedicated to community gardens.

“We placed special emphasis on sustainability, recognizing gardens that incorporate native plants, harvest rainwater, employ the use of compost, transform turf into garden space, use recycled materials, and cater to birds and wildlife”, added Nowak.

The competition was presented by The Mike Nowak Show, University of Illinois Extension: Cook County, Natural Awakenings Chicago magazine, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Community Gardeners Association and the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. For additional information about CEGA, attending the awards ceremony or to get involved with the 2018 CEGA competition, please contact:

Mike Nowak

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