The City of Pembroke Pines wants to hear from residents who make Pembroke Pines an even nicer place to live by creating and maintaining beautiful landscaping around their homes. Each month there will be one winner of the Natalie Belmonte Great Yards Award (NBGYA), which recognizes the civic pride and beauty demonstrated through the creation of an outstanding yard in the community. This award was created in memory of Natalie Belmonte, a well-known resident and businesswoman who had a love for nature, gardening and butterflies, and who tragically lost her life in July of 2011. The Award process has changed a bit from previous years. One yard will be selected each month. A yard will be selected per district on a rotational basis (i.e. January – District 1, February – District 2, March – District 3, April – District 4, etc.) All residents within the city boundaries are invited to enter their front yard area for this Natalie Belmonte Great Yards Award contest or nominate a property (with the property owners’ consent). Photos of the front yard must accompany any nomination and winning yard photos will be presented at time of award. Applications must be received by the 1st of the selection month the resident is applying for. For example, if you live in District 2, now is the time to enter your yard or that of a neighbor’s for the February Award. If an application is submitted past the date allowed for that district, a resubmittal will be required during the month allowed. If there are no applicants to choose from, or if applications fall below the minimum score required, no award will be offered until the next award cycle.
Each applicant should identify what areas of their front yards promote each of the components when submitting their application. Areas featured in the rear yard may be open for consideration. All properties will be judged based on the following five components:
1. Butterfly component: This area judges the preservation of all stages of a butterfly’s life. It should supply food and shelter with the proper selection of plants. (for example; Sage, Lavender, Milkweed, Goldenrod, Firebush, Penta, etc.).
2. Design and function: This area judges the overall design, use of texture, compatibility of materials, continuity, balance, and the overall function of the landscape in correlation to the use of the property.
3. Maintenance: The focus of this section will be the overall view of the property’s landscape maintenance. We will be looking to see that the planter beds are kept weed-free, and edged and that mulching, and fertilization are kept up.
4. Florida Friendly Value: The use of low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Mulching techniques will also be observed, checking to see if the mulch is deep enough to retain moisture in the soil.
5. Use of Hardscapes: Pertaining to the use of non-living additions to finish a landscape, such as fountains, ponds, statues, boulders, decks, mulch, stones, etc.
A total of 20 points maximum can be awarded. The person with the most points will be selected as the award recipient. Winners will be recognized at a City Commission meeting, as well as receive A Beautiful Home Award yard sign that can be placed for one month in the front of the house, and a picture of the home, with the award recipient’s permission, will be placed on the City’s social media pages, and website. For more information, please contact Planning and Economic Development’s landscape staff at 954-392-2100 or visit https://www.ppines.com/1043/Natalie-Belmonte-Great-Yards-Award.