Guidelines and Entry Forms - 2019


The purpose of the VNLA/Green Works Industry Awards Program is to bring recognition to outstanding landscape design and installation. The objective of the program is to promote excellence and encourage greater public awareness of the aesthetic and environmental benefits of landscaping.


The Industry Awards Program is open to current VNLA/Green Works members actively offering professional  landscape services.  Members may submit up to three projects per year.  All installed landscapes are eligible.  There are no categories.  Each project will be judged on its own merits.  The judging criteria is listed below.


Return completed entry forms with a $120 processing fee for each submission by Saturday, December 31, 2019.  Entries can be submitted electronically through Dropbox (contact the VNLA office) or by mailing your entry (postmark date of 12/31/19) to PO Box 92, N. Ferrisburgh, VT  05473.  Contact the VNLA/Green Works office with any questions.  Projects that do not meet entry guidelines will be disqualified.


Landscape Plan  - The landscape plan shall indicate plant material, hardscaping elements, buildings, roads, ponds and other pertinent features. Please Include north orientation and scale. Photos submitted with the entry must be located numerically on the plan. Submit your landscape plan as a digital file only (jpeg or pdf) and exclude any reference to the name of your client or your business.  Also Include a digital file of your plan with your labelled photos. Entries will not be accepted without inclusion of the landscape plan.

Project Goals/Description - - Be clear and concise when stating the client’s goals and objectives for this project.  Emphasize any notable attributes and challenges of the project.  Include the budget for the project, what parts were completed by subcontractors or other parties, client involvement, and any special needs or concerns. Convey your project’s story and uniqueness.   Submit the project description, not to exceed 650 words, as a Word document or pdf.

Photos -  Be aware of the importance of good photographs.  Submit a minimum of 12 and up to 20 jpeg photos.  This digital component of your entry must be submitted using a usb device or through the on-line Green Works Dropbox (contact the office for instructions; note the deadline to submit on-line is also December 31, 2019).  Label your submission with your company and project names.  No other file formats, no photo-in-photo images and no power point presentations.  Photos must be at least 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. Make sure that each photo corresponds with the photo descriptions on the entry form and with the number on the landscape plan.  The entrant assumes all responsibility for copyrights, photographic fees, and client permission for further use of photos by Green Works. No limitations can be placed on photos.

Client Permission/Signature Release -  Obtain the property owner’s signed permission on the entry form; we cannot accept entries without this signature release. All entry materials become the property of the VNLA/Green Works and will not be returned.


  • Entries must be postmarked and received by December 31, 2019. Entries and/or any related materials submitted on-line (plan, photos, description, etc.), must also be received in the VNLA/Green Works Dropbox by December 31, 2019.
  • Entrant must be a VNLA/Green Works member in good standing.
  • All projects by VNLA/Green Works members are eligible.
  • There are no categories.  Each project will be judged on its own merits.
  • All entries will be reviewed from the photos the entrant submits.  There are no site visits.
  • All contractors who worked on the project should be listed on the entry form.
  • Each project should be submitted with the entry form, work responsibility chart, a landscape plan, the project description, photos and descriptions, the entry fee and client release signature.
  • Each project submitted must be free of identifying names, people or logos.
  • The Industry Awards Judging Committee Chairperson will make decisions when eligibility criteria that are not covered in the rules become an issue.


A panel of industry professionals that includes landscape designers, nursery workers, and horticultural educators is assembled to judge the entries.  The judging process is blind: the identity of your business and the client is not revealed to the judges. All reference to your business name, identifiable people, and client name will not appear on your entry during the review process.

Projects are judged on the following nine criteria wherever applicable:

  • client/project goals
  • design considerations
  • plant choices
  • degree of difficulty
  • installation
  • hardscapes
  • maintenance
  • overall effect
  • overall comments

Submissions are judged on their own merits and are reviewed and judged by their landscape plan, project description, photos, and photo descriptions.  Each entry is scored individually with a total of 100 points possible.  Please refer to the Basis for Judging section below.


The Judging Committee will review all submissions and notify the award winners by January 16, 2019.  The winners will be announced to the state and local media after winners are notified.  The awards are as follows:  Excellence- (scored 95-100 points), Honor - (scored 85-95 points), and Merit - (scored 75-85 points).

Award winners will be honored and promoted in the following ways:

  • An exclusive full color newspaper insert in 2019.
  • At the VNLA/Green Works Winter Meeting & Trade Show; winners will give a presentation of their project.
  • Display boards on view at the 2019 Vermont Flower Show.
  • Display boards on view at the VNLA/Green Works Summer Meeting & Trade Show.
  • On the VNLA/Green Works website and social media platforms.
  • In the The Dirt, the VNLA/Green Works quarterly newsletter.
  • In media press releases.
  • Award certificate provided for each winning entry.



Mature projects make the best presentation.  Judges cannot always imagine a design’s intent in its early phases.  If submitting a newly completed project clearly state the project/client’s goals and be elaborative with the description.  Be sure to claim and/or disclaim all site work and features that the photos and landscape plan evidence. Distracting or unsightly elements may affect the impact of your project.  Be sure to include the project’s budget parameters and phases. Expound upon restraints and restrictions and elaborate when siting the re-use of existing materials or materials gathered from the property or elsewhere. Take actual work in progress photos.  Be sure to address all the judging criteria throughout your submission.


It is very important that your photos be high quality and cover the scope of the entire project.  Submit a minimum of 12 photos and up to 20 maximum.  Photos should illustrate enough detail to allow the judges to determine the quality of the work and/or the intention of the design.  Here are some tips:

  • Take photos before, during,  and after from the same vantage point.
  • Take photos from overhead- from an upstairs window or balcony.
  • Take close-up photos of construction details.
  • Include people in photographs to give a sense of scale.
  • Take actual work-in-progress photos.
  • Some photos should be from a distance to allow judges to see how the project fits into its surroundings.
  • Do not include photos containing logos, company names, or identifiable people- such photos will be excluded from your entry.


Descriptions should be concise.  The description on each photo should provide the Judging Committee with a clear understanding of what the photo depicts and where it was taken on the landscape plan.


It is important that the judges have a clear understanding of the client’s goals and concerns.  Create a client profile by weaving the below information into your project description.

  • Are they full-time residents or part time?
  • How long have they lived on their property?
  • What were pre-existing conditions?  What kind of resources were they able to commit to the project and how long did the project take?


Submissions are judged on their own merits and scored individually.  Judging is based on the below criteria:

1.  Client/Project Goals - As completed, does your project meet the client’s goals and objectives? (15 points)

2.  Design Considerations - (15 points)

a.  How well does the design fit the space;  how well does it work?
b.  Does the design harmonize with its surroundings (architecture & landforms).

3.  Plant Choices – (15 points)

a.  Are the plant choices horticulturally and aesthetically successful?
b.  Do the plantings enhance the design?
c.  Is there a successful selection of plant species and their locations?

4.  Degree of Difficulty -  How was the degree of difficulty addressed? (5 points)

5.  Installation - (15 points)

a.  Were best management practices used throughout the project?
b.  How was sustainability addressed?
c.  What is the ecological impact or mitigation?

6.  Hardscapes – (10 points)

a.  What is the quality of the hardscaping materials and craftsmanship?
b.  How well were the hardscaping details executed?   (exp.: elevation changes, stone cuts, finished     carpentry, etc.)
c.  Is the hardscape to-scale and appropriate?

7.  Maintenance – Will the client’s goals for maintenance be realized?  (10 points)

8.  Overall Effect – (10 points)

a.  Does the project show imagination and innovation?
b.  Does the project display overall quality and professionalism?

9.  Overall Comment -  (5 points)

a.  What is outstanding about this project, and/or what are the project’s drawbacks?
b.  Why would you either award or not award this project?

Projects will be individually scored based on the above criteria.  Projects are awarded as follow:

Excellence Award - 95 -100 points
Honor Award - 85 - 95 points
Merit Award - 75- 85 points


  • Project Plan
  • Project Goals/Description Sheet
  • Project Name Form
  • Photos and descriptions.
  • Entry Form
  • Client Permission/Signature of Release
  • Work Responsibility Chart
  • Payment to Green Works/VNLA


2019 Industry Awards Application


Online Payment- Industry Awards Application Fee

  • Price: $120.00
  • American Express