Don’t be shy; share the beauty

May 24, 2013 

The growing season is getting off to a rocky start, but the annual Landscape Contest goes on. Despite the late, cool spring and the wet soil–to say nothing of temps varying from 36 to 91 degrees in just a couple of days–we know many Lee’s Summit residents will have beautiful yards and patios in time for the judging on June 15th-16th. (And isn’t it better to have a little too much rain than not enough?)

The question is, who will enter the contest and be recognized? Every year, as members of the Beautification Commission drive all over the city judging entries, we see gorgeous gardens and landscapes that are prize-worthy, if only someone had entered them. I recently spoke to a stranger tending a beautiful front garden in the neighborhood, encouraging him to enter. His response was of the “Aw, shucks” variety, as if he couldn’t believe his landscape was anything special.

Maybe you think it would be a big hassle. Such contests often require photos, documentation, entry forms, etc. But all we require is that you go to lsparks.net and print the simple entry form or drop by any of the Lee’s Summit Parks & Recreation facilities and pick up the registration form. As advertisied, the landscape contest is all about how you have helped beautify your property, and thus, Lee’s Summit. You may enter either front yard, back yard or both; container/deck/patio; water garden or subdivision entrance.

We want to recognize residents who have made a conscious effort to beautify their property. We don’t care if you just moved in and groomed what you found, or whether you hired a landscape architect and spent a fortune. Show us!

And if you live near someone who makes his/her property beautiful (thus raising your property values), please encourage them to enter the contest. They’ll be flattered that you noticed.

Here’s what will happen. You must complete the 5-minute application by the June 3 deadline. You can expect members of the Beautification Commission to visit on Saturday, June 15 (or Sunday, if there are enough participants) to judge your entry. You don’t need to be at home; we’ll be respectful of your property and won’t let the dog out of the fence. We consider the overall appearance of the entry, whether the plants are healthy and appropriate to the area, and whether the result indicates a love of gardening.

Winners are notified in July and honored at a City Council meeting and reception in August. Each receives a gift certificate from a local nursery, a yard sign and a beautiful photo of their winning entry. Afterward, over cookies and punch, we share our stories and admire slides of the winning landscapes.

Are you convinced? I hope we’ll be able admire your entry in just a few weeks.

Carol Rothwell is a member of the Lee’s Summit Beautification Commission and a Lee’s Summit resident.

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