OCEAN CITY – “All gardeners live in beautiful places because they’ve made them so.”
That was the underlying theme and quote read to honor the 2007 Beauty Spot Awards presented Monday Night at the Mayor and Council meeting. The awards recognize those members of the community who have gone above and beyond to contribute to the beautification of Ocean City.
Donna Greenwood, chairperson of the Town of Ocean City Beautification Committee, presented the awards Monday night, announcing the winners in six categories; residential, condominium, motel, commercial, retail, restaurant, and boardwalk.
Each year, the Beautification Committee sponsors the awards to recognize efforts of property and condominium owners who contribute to the beauty of the town through exceptional maintenance of their property. By planting trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses and other decorative items, the award winners have helped to beautify not only their own property, but the town as well.
Each year, the Beautification Committee accepts nominations for beauty spot properties until July 15, at which point the committee drives around and judges each nominated property. Anyone is allowed to make a nomination, whether it’s property owners, friends, neighbors, a passerby, or patrons.
Greenwood explained that the committee used to drive around town and observe all of the town’s properties but as time has passed and the town has developed, that is no longer feasible. The committee now limits their judging to nominated properties.
The awards are based on a number of factors that contribute to the property as a whole. The judging is based on factors such as, percentage of flowers and ground cover, percentage of trees, shrubs, and grasses, and creative landscaping and containers. Efforts to disguise unattractive areas of a property, such as dumpsters, are also recognized.
Greenwood explained that each member of the committee has a rating chart that they use to rate each area of the property. Each chart is totaled and the property with the most points wins. Greenwood added that in the event of a tie, both properties are awarded, which accounted for the extra awards given in some of the categories this year.
The traditional award changed this year from a garden flag to a commemorative plaque. Greenwood explained that they used to award garden flags that could be displayed in the winner’s yard or garden. Unfortunately, they faced problems with the flags being stolen from people’s yards. As a result, the award was changed this year to a plaque that could be displayed inside or outside.
Greenwood also acknowledged the difficulties that this year’s drought posed for everyone.
This year, 10 property owners were awarded in the residential category. The residents ranged from the downtown area through the length of the town to the state line.
The winners were; Chris Bassett, Mr. and Mrs. William Brooks, Laura Gaffney, George and Linda Carter, Raymond Shoemaker, Ray and Mary Cerotti, David and Debra Meinhardt, John and Linda Tomasini, John and Anna Kraft, and Nancy and Donald Bloom.
Nine condominiums were recognized. Sea Watch, Barefoot Country, 12 Starfish II, 11 Hawaiian Village, 225 Hidden Harbour II, Misty Sea, Triton’s Trumpet, Tiburon, and 9 Sovereign Sea, were all award winners, with Hawaiian Village receiving a special plaque at the end of the awards ceremony for exceptional work in town beatification.
The sole motel award recipient this year was the Coastal Inn on 26th Street.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage won commercial Beauty Spot Awards in two locations, 52nd Street and 57th Street.
The retail category recognized two winners, the Inlet Village at the south end of the Boardwalk, and the Atlantic Gold, located in the Inlet Village.
The Inn on the Ocean, Ocean View American Grill, and the Coronet Apartments were recognized for their beautification of the Boardwalk.
Three restaurants received awards; Harrison’s Harbor Watch, Bayside Skillet, and The Bonfire.
Greenwood was thanked by the award winners and by the town for her efforts in the Beauty Spot Awards.
“I’ve got a great support network here, I couldn’t have done it alone,” Greenwood said, thanking the rest of the committee and all those who helped this year.