The City of has doled out its annual beautification awards, recognizing nine homes this year for extraordinary efforts in urban forestry, landscaping and historic preservation.

The winners were chosen by the city’s Urban Forestry & Beautification Commission. The properties “best exemplify the most improved and aesthetically pleasing enhancements in architecture, landscape, gardens, trees, community spirit and historic preservation efforts.”

Commission member Andrew Heckaman said nominations were up about 40-50 percent. He attributed that to the pandemic.

“We had more nominations this year than in year’s past, and I think that was due to Covid-19 and people making home improvements,” he said. “People were also out walking more.”

The 2020 recipients include:

Landscape Award

Recognizes improvements to the exterior of the property such as flower or vegetable gardens, trees (in general), shrubbery, lawns or other organic or environmental additions visible from the street and limited to the front and side yards.

312 Burns Ave.

Greg and Holly McCracken

The McCrackens completed extensive exterior work on their property, including a remodel of the back screened-in porch. They also built a garage and added an adjacent patio.

430 Road

John and Val Prevish

The couple recently completed a large landscaping and exterior transformation with a new front porch. Other new additions include kousa dogwoods, oak leaf hydrangeas, diablo ninebark and a dwarf goldenrod.

105 Stearns Ave.

Cindy Callicoat and Marcus Slagle

The Slagles completed a major landscaping overhaul, removing honeysuckle and replacing it with non-invasive plantings, including a mix of evergreen and deciduous varieties that provide color and interest year-round.

Recognizes properties with  that are especially unique, old, well placed in the yard, well taken care of, as well as attractive new plantings and areas of successful reforestation.

121 Linden Drive

Nancy and Peter Tsivitse

The couple’s dawn redwoods offer bright green, feathery leaves that turn orange-brown or reddish-brown in the fall.

147 Linden Drive

Paul and Natalie Kreitzer

A “magnificent” oak that rises from the front yard of 147 Linden Drive provides shade and fall colors that “dominate this picturesque stretch of the residential road.”


Tom and Molly Robinson

The Robinsons planted their rivers purple beech in the mid-to-late 1990s. Its horizontal branches have made it a favorite for the couple’s grandchildren to climb.

51 W. Charlotte Ave.

Kevin Grace and Joan Fenton

The “majestic” oak tree on this property has served as a backdrop for countless family photos over the years. A “tree face” also adorns the trunk, giving it a distinct personality.

336 Pleasant Hill Drive

Bryan and Katie Towne

An “awe-inspiring” bur oak sprawls over this couple’s ranch home. The provides a serene atmosphere and serves as a home for wildlife.

Historic Preservation Award

This award honors property owners/residents who have taken significant steps to restore, renovate or construct an addition to a historic property while using extraordinary care to preserve its character. These awards are chosen by members of the Historic Preservation Commission.

212 Grove Ave.

Eric Barth and Danielle Gentry-Barth

The Barths converted previously unusable attic space in their 95-year-old home into a master bedroom with ensuite bath – with minimal impact on the home’s original architectural integrity. The rear roof line was minimally changed, and the new detailing – stucco, multi-pane wood windows, wide overhanging eave – matches the original façade.

winners receive a commemorative plaque. Since 1984, there have been 255 beautification, tree and historic preservation award winners. The Urban Forestry & Beautification Commission includes volunteers: architects, master gardeners, landscape architects and other tree and plant enthusiasts. For more information, visit Future nominations can be made via an electronic form on the city’s website under the “ requests” tab.