If you have ever driven by a home and thought their yard was especially beautiful, instead of keeping that gem to yourself, consider nominating the owners for public recognition.
For the last 20 years, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce has been recognizing the local folks who go the extra mile in the upkeep of their outdoor spaces with the Residential and Business Beautification Award.
"It started so we could recognize people and companies that promote attractive and well maintained properties," said Robin Halstead, chamber vice president of community development.
"We love seeing people who do it themselves."
Sometimes the members of the chamber’s beautification committee notice properties on their own, other times it’s because of nominations from chamber members or the community at large.
Typically, the committee gives out the residential awards in the spring and the business recognitions in the fall.
"Anyone can make a nomination at any time," Halstead said.
"We will just hold them until the proper time."
Once the nominations are in, the committee collects pictures of the properties and then picks a winner.
When it comes to residential properties, sometimes the group decides to share the honors between homeowners who maintain their own landscape and those who hire a landscaper.
Over the years, a variety of businesses, organizations and individuals have received the beautification award.
In 2009, the Azalea Garden Club was recognized for the flower boxes they maintain at the U.S. Post Office on Green Street. The group spruces up the boxes twice a year with new plant combinations.
Brenau University, Whitlocks Salon on Riverside Drive, the Gainesville Civic Center and Carroll Daniel Construction Company have also received the chamber’s beautification award.
James and Barbara Brooks, who live on Summit Street in Gainesville were the residential award winners this spring, along with the home of Milton Robson, 3509 Tanners Mill Circle, in Gainesville and the home of Bobbie Page, 815 Lakeview Drive, in Gainesville.
"We have a large sign that was donated by Jackson EMC, which we display in the winning yards for a few months," Halstead said.
"We also take pictures and share them."
Although the program gives the award recipients bragging rights for a few months, there’s also a bigger boon for their neighborhood overall.
"The chamber’s beautification awards program is special because it acknowledges (residents and business owners) who bring beauty to our community," said Phillipa Lewis Moss, chairwoman of the chamber’s community development committee.
"We hope these awards inspire other property owners to do the same. Most economic development professionals will tell you that a beautifully landscaped property attracts businesses and discourages litter and vandalism.
"Investing a little bit of money on the aesthetics of your property can have a big payoff."
To find out more about the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Residential and Business Beautification Awards, contact Robin Halstead at 770-532-6206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org