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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.

Sixth Annual Scotts Give Back to Grow Awards Kick Off

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Nominations Are Now Being Accepted, So Get Growing

MARYSVILLE, Ohio – In recent years, the number of Americans who garden has increased by thirty percent. Today, that number has reached nearly 80 million*, and many of these individuals are transforming their communities into stronger, safer and more beautiful places. To recognize extraordinary gardeners nationwide who are making a difference, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the world's leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, is kicking off its sixth annual Scotts Give Back to Grow® Awards.

"ScottsMiracle-Gro has been helping people beautify their communities and protect the environment with healthy lawns and gardens for more than 130 years," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO of ScottsMiracle-Gro. "In this spirit, we encourage everyone to give back to their communities through gardening."

ScottsMiracle-Gro will award a total of $40,000 to winners in four categories whose gardening efforts have helped grow a better world. Four first place winners will receive $5,000, and two finalists in each category will receive $2,500. Nominations are now being accepted for the following categories:

* Scotts Classroom Gardener of the Year – Salutes elementary through high school teachers who have incorporated gardening into their curriculums.
* Scotts Urban Greenup Gardener of the Year – Salutes volunteers who have used gardening to address the challenges of an inner-city neighborhood.
* Scotts Community Beautification Gardener of the Year – Salutes volunteers who have demonstrated their commitment to environmental stewardship through restoration and/or beautification of a main street, park or neighborhood within their city limits, and in the process significantly contributed to community pride.
* Scotts Good Neighbor Gardener of the Year - Salutes volunteers who have helped feed the hungry in their communities by growing produce for donation to food banks and/or encouraging participation in programs such as the Garden Writers Association of America's Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding gardener who exemplifies one of these descriptions. ScottsMiracle-Gro is looking for inspirational stories about everyday people who go above and beyond by feeding the hungry, inspiring children and fostering community growth.

The winners of the Fifth Annual Scotts Give Back to Grow® Awards included a special education teacher who inspired her class to build a butterfly garden in memory of a fellow student who passed away; a retired draftsman who personally donated more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to feed the hungry for the past three years; an 89-year-old gardener who created a 1.5-acre rhododendron park for his community; and a 79-year-old woman who converted a site that was formerly a haven for drug dealers into an urban oasis featuring gazebos, trees, vegetables and flowers. A special ceremony publicly honored the winners on March 13, 2005 at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Nomination forms for the sixth annual Scotts Give Back to Grow® Awards can be found at, or by calling 1-866-565-3554. Deadline for entry is December 2, 2005. Winners and finalists will be announced on or before February 3, 2006.

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