Our annual awards program honors individuals who are using
gardening to bring about positive change in people’s lives, cultivate
stronger communities and protect our environment. Congratulations
and thanks to all of our 2009 winners:
Grand Prize Winner
Taja Sevelle, Detroit, MI
In just four years, Urban Farming, a nonprofit founded by Taja Sevelle has helped plant 600 gardens in 17 cities and five countries. And they’ll keep expanding until their mission is accomplished: “We want to eradicate hunger, and we really think it is possible,” she said.
1. Roger Doiron, Scarborough, ME
Roger Doiron’s efforts have resulted in the creation of school gardens in his hometown, kitchen gardens in India and even a kitchen garden at the White House. He’s accomplished all this through persistence, a knack for promotion and practical use of 21st century technology.
2. Thianda Manzara, Hockessin, DE
3. Glenda Balliviero, Lafayette, LA
Honorable mentions: John Murphy, Hendersonville, NC; Brenda Beckham, Athens, GA
1. Vicki Nowicki, Downers Grove, IL
Vicki Nowicki is changing the way we think about our yards. “Lawns were supposed to be a place to bring people together, and that has failed,” she said. “It is vegetable gardens that will be the landscape that will bind people together, because food is the heart of a home.”
2. Atheria Ware, Buffalo, NY
3. Joe Mallon, Cape Coral, FL
Honorable mentions: Rhonda Killough, Henderson, NV; Lora Schreiber, West Bend, WI
1. José Soto, Bronx, NY
In the mid-1970s, the South Bronx became synonymous with urban decay, but it was also home to thousands of people, including José Soto. One day, he decided to do something about one lot in his neighborhood. He started clearing out debris, garbage and abandoned cars. Soon, 50 neighbors came out to help.
2. Robert Halstead, Bridgeport, CT
3. Kwabena Nkromo, Atlanta, GA
Honorable mentions: Michael Dowling, So. Boston, MA; Mark Covington, Detroit, MI
Feeding the Hungry
1. Ronda Clark, Athens, OH
As Ronda Clark works to expand gardening in southeastern Ohio, she is thinking big. “I want to break people of this western diet that is killing us: fast-food joints, high-fructose corn syrup …” And the best way she has found to do that is through gardening – one plot at a time.
2. Blue Peetz, Olympia, WA
3. Jacki Baer, Sycamore, SC
Honorable mentions: Merry Bradley, Eugene, OR; Amy Grey, Moscow, ID; Gabriela Compagni, Highlands, NJ