Apply now for beautification awards

MADISON – Spring flowers are coincidental reminders that signup time has returned for Madison Beatification Awards.

Madison Beautification and Tree Board coordinates the annual judging and award presentation. Entry deadline is May 4. Judges will view properties in the city on May 18.

Beautification board members invite owners of residential and commercial properties to apply for award judging, publicist Michael Keenan said. “This year there has been much work towards continued improvements of our judging standards, with an emphasis on judging of commercial properties separately from residential, along with replacing existing beautification signs with new signs.”

“All properties should continue to exemplify the beauty of our community by showing prideful effort and enhancing their landscape to have an overall inviting curb appeal through colorful, healthy annuals and perennials,” Keenan said. Before judging day, owners should remove weeds or diseased plants.

Last year’s drought probably damaged or killed plants, which will require attention. “The board recognizes areas are under road construction. We encourage properties on those routes to consider applying despite the construction,” he said.

“Continued improvements on 2017 judging standards were to better define and add to what we’re looking for,” Keenan said. “Judges also will be able to give better constructive feedback to help guide applicants to improve on existing landscapes and to work towards achieving excellence scoring.”

To earn an ‘excellent’ rating, individuals must earn a perfect score of 100 by satisfying each judging standard category. “Any standards judged with ‘no’ will not receive partial points deduction as in prior years — rather, one or two points deducted per question. Passing scores range from 95-100 points,” Keenan said.

To earn Honor Roll status, a property must have received 95 points or higher for five consecutive years. A failing score is 94 or fewer points. “All properties should read the updated standards and evaluate how to best plan for their replacement spring plantings,” Keenan said.

Madison Beautification and Tree Board will host the yearly awards banquet for properties scoring 95 or better. “Our goal is also to release new beautification signs to help distinguish Madison City from surrounding cities,” he said

Application fee is $25.

To review updated judging standards, visit keepmadisonbeautiful.org. Applicants are welcome to contact beautification board members by emailing keepmadisonbeautiful@gmail.com.

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