Litchfield Park’s ‘Yard of the Quarter’ competition will return in the new year after a brief hiatus during the pandemic.
The city’s Recreation and Public Grounds Commission, a seven-member body, will resume the task of choosing the prettiest yard each quarter, then hold a vote to decide the winner.
The point of the competition, according to the city’s website, is to encourage residents to maintain and enhance the appearance of their outward-facing property.
“The purpose of the Yard of the Quarter is to provide incentive for residents to maintain and improve the appearance of our community by promoting well-kept yards and property,” the website reads.
Pre-pandemic, members of the commission would drive around the city every quarter in search of the city’s most aesthetically pleasing residences. The city has close to 1,700 homes across 3.1-square miles.
So what does it take to win? A nomination form lists qualities such as neatness, creativity, color harmony and the health and variety of landscaping.
But ultimately, it boils down to the judge’s personal preferences.
“I always look for the ones either I feel or know wasn’t done by a giant, professional landscape (sic) company, but that’s just me,” said commission Vice-Chair Andrea Phillips at a Nov. 10 meeting.
“The difference between a $35,000, professionally done yard and one that the homeowner has taken their time and their personal effort and sweat to do, are kind of two different things,” she said.
“Taste is taste,” Phillips added, laughing. “What I like, I don’t know that you’re gonna like, Anthony...and vice-versa,” she said referring to commission Chairperson Anthony Taddei.
“It’s hard to compare sometimes,” Taddei said. “One thing that I loved about this is being able to just drive around and see the hard work people put in...it’s really neat to see." he said.
Previously, winners were announced on the first day of every April, July, October and January, with April being the first quarter winner and January being the fourth quarter winner, according to the city's website.
It is unclear if the commission will announce winners on this schedule going forward.
Homeowners may not receive more than one award per year, and homes must be owner-occupied and free of any outstanding code violations, according to the city’s website.
Nominees are expected to be discussed at the commission's January meeting, and the winner will be recognized with a sign placed in their yard.
For more information on the competition, click here to be directed to the city’s website.
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