2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards

Do you know a local community garden or community “greening” project that could use $1,500 in free plants? If so, tell them to apply for the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards.

Nature Hills Nursery

Nature Hills Nursery

Do you know a local community garden or community “greening” project that could use $1,500 in free plants? If so, tell them to apply for the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards.

The Green America Awards give national recognition and thousands of dollars in plants to community groups and organizations that are improving their local environments. The annual awards honor nonprofit groups and community organizations and nonprofit groups that are literally “greening” their communities, parks, schools and public spaces by planting trees, shrubs and other plants. The award program is sponsored by Nature Hills Nursery, the largest online nursery and garden center in the United States with more than 10,000 products available for direct shipping to consumers.

“At Nature Hills Nursery, we are in the business of growing and selling plants,” said Jeffrey Dinslage, president of Nature Hills Nursery. “Sustainability and beautification are important to our company. We created the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award to give back a portion of the plants we produce annually to projects that will help reduce carbon dioxide and beautify communities.”

Applications for the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards are now available online at www.naturehills.com/green_america_awards.aspx. Applicants can also visit the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page to apply for the Green America Awards. Questions about the Green America Awards can be sent to gaa@naturehills.com.

The Prizes

The winners of the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will be those nonprofit groups and organizations that truly are making a difference in their local communities. The prizes for the winning garden projects are as follows:

· First Prize: $1,500 in plants from www.naturehills.com
· Second Prize: $750 in plants from www.naturehills.com
· Judges’ Award: $250 in plants from www.naturehills.com

The plant materials selected by the winners can contain any combination of shade trees, fruit trees, bushes, shrubs and perennials available from www.naturehills.com.

Who Should Enter

Winners of the NHN Green America Awards in past years have ranged from community gardens at elementary schools to neighborhood food gardens. This year’s winners could be:

· Outstanding community gardening projects that give local participants the opportunity to grow fresh food

· A wildlife habitat for birds or animals on donated land that has been abandoned or neglected

A project that refurbishes neglected land into a community park
A local soil erosion control project that utilizes plants to stabilize steep hillside slopes or river banks
The reclamation of an abandoned lot with the creation of a fruit orchard that will provide much-needed food to nearby low-income residents

Applications for the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will be ac­cepted nationwide until April 17, 2014. From all of the entries, eight semi-finalists will be selected by Nature Hills Nursery. The list of semi-finalists will be posted on the Green America Awards tab linked to the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page.

Then the real excitement begins.

Winners Picked by Facebook Votes

The ultimate winners of the 2014 Green America Awards will be determined by votes for each semi-finalist on the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page. The voting will proceed in a series of head-to-head contests between pairs of semi-finalists. The winner in each head-to-head vote will advance to the next round. (Similar to the way college basketball teams advance to the next round in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.)

“We will use our Facebook page to create excitement for the Green America Awards and open up the final selection of winners to all of our Facebook friends,” said Jeffrey Dinslage, President of Nature Hills Nursery. “We encourage all of the semi-finalists to contact their own friends, members, and social networks to lobby for votes. We want to create an online ‘buzz’ for all of the wonderful gardens. May the best community garden or nonprofit gardening project win!”

To cast a vote for a Green America Awards semi-finalist, a person must “Like” Nature Hills Nursery on Facebook and then click on the entrant of his or her choice to cast a vote.

Facebook voting begins on May 1, 2014. Three rounds of Facebook voting will move victorious contestants forward, until two finalists vie head-to-head for the First Prize of $1,500 in plants from Nature Hills Nursery. Facebook voting ends at 12 midnight Central Time on May 21. Winners will be an­nounced on the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page and www.naturehills.com on May 22, 2014.

To enter the 2014 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards competition, visit www.naturehills.com/green_america_awards.aspx or the Nature Hills Nursery Facebook page. Questions about the Green America Awards can be sent to gaa@naturehills.com.

May the best community garden win!

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