The Awards Committee Chairperson(s), along with the committee members, are
responsible for selecting one recipient in each category to receive the Horticultural
Excellence Award for an outstanding residential garden and the Civic Beautification
Award for a commercial garden. To qualify, residential gardens must be maintained by
the home owner, although some professional services are permitted (e.g. initial design, construction of hardscape, lawn maintenance.) Recipients in both categories must be located in the following communities: Exeter, Stratham, Newfields, Epping, Brentwood, Kingston, East Kingston, Kensington, Hampton Falls, Hampton, North Hampton, and Greenland. Gardens owned by EAGC members are not eligible. All members of the committee are encouraged throughout the year to seek out potential gardens in those communities.
In early spring the Chair contacts all committee members to compile and review a list of suggested gardens and establish a schedule for site visitations. If deemed necessary, the Chair contacts home and business owners to obtain permission for the committee to be on the properties. For all site visitations, which occur several times throughout the growing season, the committee travels as a group and reviews the gardens based on the following criteria: three season appeal, aesthetics, variety of plant material, land use, and general appearance. The Chair or a designated member of the committee maintains a list of all visited gardens, takes photos of the gardens and keeps a record of members’ critiques of each site. If a member cannot attend a site visit, s/he is encouraged to visit on his/her own and report back to the Chair. In September the Committee meets to make its final decision, after which the Chair contacts the Award recipients and invites a representative from each garden to attend the EAGC’s October meeting to accept the Award.
In preparation for hosting the October meeting, the Chair meets with all committee
members to plan the program for the general meeting. Members are responsible for
creating photo displays of the award winning gardens, preparing the certificates, and
maintaining the garden signs that each recipient may display in his/her garden for one
year. Winners are also presented with a year’s honorary membership in EAGC. At the
end of that year the Chair collects and stores the garden signs. The Chair is
responsible for obtaining and storing all the necessary supplies and submitting any
receipts to the Board. The Chair should notify the board if expenses exceed the
budgetary limit which has been set by agreement between the Board and the Chair.
After the October meeting the Chair forwards recipients’ information and photos of the
award winning gardens to the Web Manager and Public Relations Chairperson. All
records of Award recipients and materials (easels, art supplies, etc.) are maintained
and held by the Chair who is responsible for maintaining and updating a notebook on
the activities of the Awards Committee to be passed on to succeeding Chairpersons.