PR: Nominations Accepted for Outstanding Community Beautification

Tompkins County is in full bloom this year and we would like to recognize those who contribute to beautification efforts in the City of Ithaca and rural towns and villages. The Tompkins County Community Beautification Program is now accepting nominations for outstanding examples of local beautification by businesses, civic associations, and residents throughout Tompkins County. Nominations will be accepted until October 15 and award recipients will be recognized at a reception on November 2.

To nominate your favorite examples of beautification, please go to 2017_beautification_nominations to complete a short survey, or send an email to Chrys Gardener at cab69@cornell.edu with your nominations in the following categories. Please include the address of the location and attach digital photos if possible.

The nomination categories are:

Community Beautification Award for a Business
Community Beautification Award for a Civic Association
Community Beautification Award for a Residence
-Community Beautification Award for Placemaking

Note: We are not accepting nominations for sites in the City of Ithaca that are planted and maintained by staff and volunteers of the Community Beautification Program, since that would amount to giving ourselves an award.  We are curious, however, to hear about your favorite Beautification Program site, so please let us know!  These sites include the Ithaca Commons and surrounding streets, traffic medians, and many other locations. Go to http://ccetompkins.org/gardening/community-beautification/ithaca-public-plantings to see a map as well as photos and descriptions of Beautification Program sites.

Types of beautification can include landscape plantings, hanging baskets, planters, murals, interpretive signage and any other features that add color and uniqueness to our communities. A separate category specifically recognizes placemaking, by the Project for Public Spaces as “a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value”. Placemaking involves anything improvement or activity that reimagines and reinvents a public space to make it more appealing and useful. The addition of tables, chairs, and planters to the area behind Center Ithaca in a formerly underused alley is one recent example.

Nominations will be reviewed by the County Beautification, Art and Signage Committee, and winners will be recognized at the Community Beautification awards dinner on November 2 at La Tourelle Hotel. This annual event also recognizes beautification volunteers and community partners.  Photos and descriptions of 2016 award recipients can be seen here: http://ccetompkins.org/gardening/community-beautification/community-beautification-awards

The Tompkins County Community Beautification Program was established in 2002 with funds from the Tompkins County Tourism Program and the Hotel Room Tax, an additional 5% tax paid by guests at local hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts to support tourism initiatives. The program is administered by the Tompkins County Tourism Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the Beautification Program is to improve the landscaping and aesthetics in highly travelled areas of the county. In the City of Ithaca, this is accomplished through the efforts of a group of staff and volunteers called the Beautification Brigade. The Community Beautification Program also distributes grants to the rural Towns in Tompkins County for beautification projects, which are also implemented and maintained primarily by volunteers.

For more information about the Community Beautification Program, go to http://ccetompkins.org/beautification