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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Seeks Nominations for 2015 Native Choice Award

A residential native garden in Santa Barbara. (H. Wehnau photo)

Nominations are now open for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s second annual Native Choice Award for overall visual appeal and excellence in the use of California native plants in designed landscapes.

The award will be presented at the annual Santa Barbara Beautiful Awards Gala on Sept. 27. Nominations will be accepted through July 15 through the garden’s website by clicking here.

“The garden has been encouraging Santa Barbara residents to landscape with California native plants since our founding in 1926,” said Steve Windhager, Ph.D., executive director of the garden. “Landscaping with native plants saves water and supports conservation by creating habitat for wildlife. But this award is about beauty and the sense of place created by our unique plant biodiversity.”

“The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Native Choice Award inspires people to use native plants of our region to create beauty while conserving water," said Madeline Ward, acting water conservation coordinator at the City of Santa Barbara. "It is inspiring to see so many residents switch to colorful, low maintenance native gardens that save water and money.”

In 2014, the garden created the Native Choice Award to recognize leadership in using native plants to inspire others in designing their own landscape choices. The first Native Choice Award was presented in September 2014 to the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation during the Santa Barbara Beautiful Awards ceremony.

Anyone can go to the garden’s website to nominate as many properties as they like. Each person who submits a nomination may enter to win a $25 gift certificate from the garden’s Garden Growers Nursery or Gift Shop.

Eligible landscapes may be commercial, residential or government properties of any size. They must be visible from the street or via public access to serve as inspiration. Projects can be located anywhere in southern Santa Barbara County with preference to projects in and around the City of Santa Barbara.

— Rebecca Mordini is the communications manager for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

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