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Beautification Awards Ceremony Honors Farmington Homeowners, Businesses

Neighbors and friends gather at the Governor Warner Mansion to celebrate.

has a lot of property to maintain, and in recent years, the church has had to reduce costs by cutting back on flowers and watering.

But a team effort to keep the grounds beautiful was still good enough to win a Farmington Beautification Award this year.

A dozen homeowners, two local businesses and the church were honored Tuesday evening at the Farmington Beautification Awards Ceremony, held at the historic on Grand River.

"We're very honored and privileged to be noticed for the upkeep on our grounds," Fr. Mark Brauer said. He said local landscapers from ArborScape and LaFontaine Landscaping are responsible for keeping the lawn and gardens in good shape – despite the loss of around 20 ash trees over the years.

"It's a combination of people working together to enhance our grounds, not only for us, but for the community," he said.

Farmington Mayor Tom Buck said the Beautification Awards ceremony is favorite among officials, because "we get to talk about the beauty of our community, and the pride we get to take in it."

Beautification commission member Pam Wright explained that each member of the commission reviewed a different precinct of the community each year, selecting three finalists. Then committee members review and vote on the finalists, based only on the front yards and "curb appeal".

"Whatever you're doing," she told award winners, "you caught our eye."

Greater Farmington Area Chamber director Mary Engelman presented the Chamber's award to , a plumbing and heating contractor located on Grand River. She said she looks at "not just beautiful landscape, but what people have done to improve."

Beautiful yards help make the whole city look good, which also keeps home values up, council member JoAnne McShane said, adding that's a tribute to the residents.

"I'm just very proud of all of you," she said.

2011 Beautification Winners include:

Pct. 1 Winner - Mark and Patty Prendeville, 33645 Hillcrest; Runner-up - Julie Genna, 34098 Schulte

Pct. 2 Winner - Suzette Angeliu, 23224 Prospect; Runner-up - Wendy Sako, 23230 Prospect

Pct. 3 Winner - Carrie Bendall, 22767 Hawthorne; Runner-up - Marylin Krist, 31780 Folkstone

Pct. 4 Winner - Tom Schroeder, 32954 Annewood; Runner-up - Fran McGivern, 21004 Larkspur

Pct. 5 Winner - Robert and Sue Hanley, 23871 Longacre; Runner-up - Richard and Victoria Demay, 34202 Freedom Rd.

Pct. 6 Winner - Mr. & Mrs. Murdock, 23332 Mission Lane; Runner-up - Wanli and Susan Lei, 23350 Woodhaven Ct.

Correction: The name of landscape architect Matt Madsen and his company Designs by Matt were incorrectly reported in a photo caption in the initial version of this story.

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