The Nature and Conservation Department oversees the two OAGC Beautification Contests: the Beautification Contest for Permanent Plantings and the Beautification Contest for Temporary or Seasonal Projects. These contests encourage clubs to develop activities that enhance the aesthetics of the community and the State of Ohio.
Contestants submit the appropriate Beautification Contest Application Form and Scorecard to the regional Nature and Conservation Chair at least 30 days prior to the preferred month of judging in order to allow for scheduling a judging date. A project book is to be submitted to the state Nature and Conservation Chair. The top three scores (above 80 points) in the state in each contest (Permanent or Temporary) are eligible to receive monetary awards. The first place winner will receive an award chosen by the president. Amount of monetary award at the discretion of the executive committee. The contest deadline is December 15.
- Plan the project. Be sure to use the appropriate Beautification Contest Scorecard for guidance.
- Compile a project book. Check the scorecards for all required information. If applicable, the same project book may be used from year to year as planting progresses. Each year’s work should be separated work by inserting a divider or perhaps a colored sheet of paper.
- Get the project judged. Send the Beautification Contest Application and Scorecard Form to the regional nature and conservation chair in order to allow for scheduling a judging date. Please allow adequate time to schedule a date for judging; at least 30 days prior is suggested.
- The judging committee will visit the location and judge the project using the scorecards found on pages 78 or 79 of The OAGC Handbook for Garden Clubs (may be purchased from the state Sales Secretary.) Following judging, the judging committee must send the Beautification Contest scorecard to the state Nature and Conservation chair no later than 30 calendar days after judging. Scorecard must be postmarked by December 15. Late entries will be docked a late penalty of 1 point per day, not to exceed a 5 point late penalty. Entries postmarked after January 1 will not be considered for competition.
- Projects scoring 70 points and above are eligible to receive a monetary award chosen by the executive committee.
Guidelines for Regional Judging of Beautification Contest Entries
- A scoring committee of 3 is selected. Suggested committee members: the regional Nature and Conservation chair, regional director and/or regional director-elect, county contact chair, a judge and/or local state chair. If a club is entered in the contest and a member of the scoring committee belongs to that club, the person(s) should resign and others be appointed to score.
- Make sure that the project is eligible. It must be an active OAGC club and not a previous 1st place state winner.
- Notify club of the date intended to judge their project. Should be within the month the club requested.
- Judge the project on specified date convenient to committee in the club’s designated month.
- Make sure that the design appears as an asset and has some lasting value with permanent plantings, year around appeal and pleasant combinations of materials. It should be free of weeds, mulched, plants in good condition and no signs of disease or major insect damage.
- Be consistent in scoring. Write on a separate sheet of paper any additional comments. State the faults, as well as the good points in the project and explain why points were not given.
- Mail scorecard WITHIN 30 CALENDAR DAYS (or before December 15, whichever is first) to state Nature and Beautification chair.