Chicago-Area Awards Recognize Urban Gardeners

This undated photo shows the entrance to a garden in New Paltz, N.Y. For the Garden Conservancy’s “Open Days” program, a number of private gardens across the country open their gates for visitors.
This undated photo shows the entrance to a garden in New Paltz, N.Y. For the Garden Conservancy's "Open Days" program, a number of private gardens across the country open their gates for visitors. Lee Reich / AP Photo
This undated photo shows the entrance to a garden in New Paltz, N.Y. For the Garden Conservancy’s “Open Days” program, a number of private gardens across the country open their gates for visitors.
This undated photo shows the entrance to a garden in New Paltz, N.Y. For the Garden Conservancy's "Open Days" program, a number of private gardens across the country open their gates for visitors. Lee Reich / AP Photo

Chicago-Area Awards Recognize Urban Gardeners

In 2018, the Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards (CEGA) committee honored gardens from 33 wards and 60 Chicago communities. And they are back to do it again in 2019. Now in its third year, CEGA takes into account gardens’ beauty, as well as sustainability, community benefits, the incorporation of native plants and creativity. Past winners have included gardeners who transformed vacant lots or started gardens on rooftops. One of those winners was biology teacher Marnie Ware, who started a two-acre school teaching garden and community gardens for the neighborhood in an unused field. Joining us to discuss the awards are CEGA founders Mike Nowak and Peggy Maleki, co-hosts of the Mike Nowak Show.