Espoma Environmental Stewardship Home Gardener Award

At A Glance

This program started:

January-15-2013

Applications due by:

August-01-2013

Winners Announced On:

Monday, September 16, 2013 (All day)

Is this program still open?

No

Sponsor

The Espoma Company is a fourth generation, family-owned business that has been the pioneer in organic gardening since 1929. Espoma products work in harmony with nature to grow beautiful lawns & gardens, preserve natural resources, and make a greener world for future generations. Espoma offers a complete selection of natural plant foods, lawn foods, control products, and potting mixes that are available nationwide. For additional information, visit Espoma.com or find them on Facebook.

Grant ID: 
EESA_2013
Teaser: 
Espoma and National Gardening Association have teamed up for the second year to present the Espoma Environmental Stewardship Award. The program is designed to highlight the efforts of Home Gardeners making a difference in their own backyards and communities.
Right Side Box: 

Sponsor

The Espoma Company is a fourth generation, family-owned business that has been the pioneer in organic gardening since 1929. Espoma products work in harmony with nature to grow beautiful lawns & gardens, preserve natural resources, and make a greener world for future generations. Espoma offers a complete selection of natural plant foods, lawn foods, control products, and potting mixes that are available nationwide. For additional information, visit Espoma.com or find them on Facebook.

Award Date: 
Monday, September 16, 2013 (All day)
Closed: 
YES

Environmental stewardship begins at home. While it's important to encourage stewardship and sustainability on a large scale, you can also have an impact through the decisions and practices you adopt as an individual. One way to do this is to incorporate sustainable, ecologically sound practices into the gardening and landscaping you do. Creating, maintaining, and enjoying an environmentally-friendly landscape, garden, or outdoor living space benefits you, your family, the community, and all the life that shares the environment with you. It may not have the global impact of government actions on greenhouse gas emissions, but it can make your own corner of the world a better space, both in the present and in years to come.Espoma and the National Gardening Association want to recognize and reward the efforts of gardeners who are working to protect and improve the environment. That's why we’'ve created the Environmental Stewardship Award. This year we'll select five home gardeners from across the country who are using the most effective, interesting, and innovative practices in their gardens and landscapes to help protect the environment and make their corner of the world a better place. 

The Espoma Environmental Stewardship Award is provided annually by The National Gardening Association to five home gardeners nationwide who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding environmental practices and initiatives. The Home Gardener Awards will be announced on September 16, 2013. 

Who is elibible to apply?

Home gardeners 18 years and older living within the Continental United States are eligible to apply. Applicants should be actively engaged in environmentally conscious practices within their own garden. Below are six (6) categories of environmental-friendly practices common to home gardens. Applicants will be asked on their application to select from these categories and describe examples of environmental stewardship practices used in their home gardens and landscapes that relate to these categories: 

  1. Protecting the Watershed
    • Use porous pavements, gravel grass, etc.; limit impervious surfaces to reduce runoff
    • Protect and restore wetlands and vegetative buffers along waterways
    • Install a green roof
    • Install rain garden, bioswales
    • Use sustainable lawn care practices
    • Maintain home septic systems; manage pet waste properly
  2. Landscaping for Energy Conservation
    • Plant trees and shrubs for windbreaks, buffers; install fencing to block wind
    • Plant trees and shrubs for solar shading or to direct cooling breezes
    • Minimize heat-reflecting hard surfaces near house; use plantings to shade and cool the ground
    • Use urban area plantings to reduce urban heat island effects
  3. Reducing Garden's Carbon Footprint
    • Minimize carbon inputs
      • avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
      • use people powered rather than gasoline powered tools and equipment
      • install energy efficient lighting
      • minimize the use of soil amendments such as mined minerals, peat, bagged organic fertilizers whose harvesting, mining, manufacture, and transport use energy, release carbon, or disrupt the environment
    • Plant trees and shrubs well-adapted to region to take up carbon
    • Recycle organic waste as compost
    • Choose landscaping materials with a low carbon footprint – local; salvaged; wood from non- threatened species; alternatives to concrete
    • Generate your own energy – solar power, wind power, hydro power
    • Grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs
    • Use cover crops and mulch to cover bare soil to prevent carbon loss and soil erosion
    • Minimize use of and recycle garden plastics (mulch, pots, etc.)
    • Minimize lawn areas; use sustainable lawn care practices
  4. Designing a Healthy Ecosystem
    • Welcome wildlife
    • Encourage pollinators and beneficial insects
    • Use native plants and plants adapted to regional conditions; protect existing native vegetation; plant a biodiverse landscape
    • Remove invasive plants
    • Limit lawn size and use sustainable lawn care practices; consider lawn alternatives
    • Reduce light pollution
    • Limit use of pesticides and herbicides
    • Provide safe spaces for recreation, exercise, relaxation, contemplation, connection to nature
    • Protect soil and existing plants during construction projects
    • Incorporate animals in the garden/landscape sustainably (e.g. chickens, bees, aquaponics)
    • Design and use systems to reclaim urban land for growing plants (e.g. urban gardening, roof gardens, vacant lot plantings)
  5. Using Water Efficiently
    • Use alternatives to potable water – rain barrels, cisterns, gray water
    • Water wisely – drip irrigation, soaker hoses, timers
    • Choose water thrifty plantings adapted to local conditions
    • Use mulch to conserve soil moisture
    • Water only when and as much as needed based on plant needs
  6. Building and Maintaining Healthy Soil
    • Use mulch, cover crops to prevent soil erosion
    • Prevent soil compaction
    • Use organic matter, cover crops, green manures to enrich soil
    • Test soil before adding fertilizers
    • Limit disruption of soil ecosystems from excessive physical disruption, garden chemicals, compaction, etc.
    • Limit the use of topsoil imported from off-site

Award Package

Five (5) winners will be selected on September 16th.

  • First place winner will receive $2,000 gift certificate to an independent garden center of their choice.
  • Second place winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to an independent garden center of their choice.
  • Third place winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to an independent garden center of their choice.
  • Fourth and fifth place winners will receive a $500 gift certificate to an independent garden center of their choice.

 

Submission Process
To apply, please click the “Home Gardener Application.” Clicking this button will open another window in your browser. Please fill out the application to the best of your ability. Applications can be saved and returned to at a later date. Submissions will be limited to the first 200 applicants.Award TimelineApplications open on January 15th, 2013, and close on August 1st, 2013. All applications must be submitted by August 1st, 2013. The winners will be announced on September 16th, 2013. Once you have opened the application it can be saved and returned to at a later date.

  • We strongly suggest opening a word processing document to draft your essays prior to submitting your answers. This will help to limit spelling and grammatical errors, and will allow you to save a copy of your application content.
  • You will be required to submit 2 digital photos. Photos must be in one of the following formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG, PDF.
  • Only online applications will be accepted. Please do not send in printed applications; help us save trees, time, and energy!

 

(See our privacy policy if you have questions about how we use the information we collect.)

Award Fulfillment
We will notify you about the status of your application via email by September 16th, 2013. A list of winners will also be posted from this page on the NGA website. Awards will be distributed in September of 2013.Reporting RequirementAwardees may be required to submit additional photos of their home gardening space. Selected home gardeners may be interviewed by National Gardening Association, Espoma, or media members. Select Home Gardeners may be asked to submit a home video of their garden features. Home Gardeners may also be asked to allow NGA, Espoma and/or media to visit their home garden.No purchase necessary. Purchase of a product does not improve your chances of receiving an award.

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