WHY Yard of the Week?


Contest Guidelines

Yard of the Week Contest – Keeping it Simple Makes it Work!

The Yard of the Week Contest operates in the spring and early summer of the year in neighborhoods selected because of the obvious influence of negative elements that detract from its appearance, safety and overall quality of life.

Implementation strategy may vary by neighborhood, but these guidelines for the Yard Contest are required:

  • At least one person must accept the role and responsibility of Contest Organizer.
  • Neighborhoods with 250 – 300 houses should be selected and have the following factors:
    • High crime/violence rates as reported by news and police.
    • Visual evidence of poorly maintained properties (i.e., overgrown grass, vegetation, presence of litter and dumping in yards and common areas, broken down vehicles and appliances in yards, broken fences, etc.)
  • YOTW is a spring contest that should run 8 weeks, generally starting mid May through the middle of July.
  • New “Yard of the Week” winners should be identified and rewarded throughout the contest period with small monetary awards ($10 Gold Dollars) and yard signs designating winners in three categories and one Honorable Mention:
    • “Most Tender Loving Care Yard” – 1st, 2nd, 3rd place
    • “Most Natural Yard” – 1st, 2nd, 3rd place
    • “Most Green Thumb” – 1st, 2nd, 3rd place
    • Honorable Mention
  • A budget of $3,000 will be needed ($2 per person per house or $10 per house per contest year) to cover the following:
    • Metal yard signs for contest winners (signs cost about $16 per sign.) We use Fast Signs
    • Prize Money: $800 in Gold Dollars from bank ($10 per winner, 10 winners, 8 weeks)
    • Printing and mailing of contest announcements (We use Kinko’s for printing)

The $3,000 amounts to about $10 per house per year. The people in the contest provide their own plant material, labor, water, supplies. While the contests in Columbia are funded privately, church funds provide the financing in Florence and municipal funding is provided in Winston Salem. It is expected that the Rotary Club, AME Churches, Baptist Churches, Presbyterian Churches, Methodist Churches, and municipal governments will fund each contest on an “area needs basis”. The goal is to continue to do the contest each year for many years…and watch the change.

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