Beautification Awards Criteria

Eligible properties include houses, condominiums, businesses, schools, and houses of worship.  Please note that only street-facing yards (or side yards on corner properties) will be considered. 

Design - 40 POINTS

Beautiful front gardens offer joy to everyone who passes by.  Judges will consider four criteria:

  •  Layout (15) – Does the layout creatively make use of the available space to present an attractive appearance?
  • Color (15) – Do the colors of the landscape attract you from the street or sidewalk and do the colors harmonize with the surrounding landscape, i.e. the trees, shrubs and the structures?
  • Proportion & Harmony (10) – Does the design convey a feeling of proportion and balance?  Do planting beds relate to the scale and design of the structure?  Is the landscape pleasing to the eye? Do the garden accessories complement the garden? 

Plant Choices - 40 POINTS

Diverse, sustainable green spaces help make Skokie a healthier place for us all to live.  Judges will consider four criteria:

  • Perennials (10)  – How much of the yard is planted in perennials, trees and shrubs?  (Plants that return on their own every year.)
  • Plant diversity (10)  – How many different plant species are represented in the yard?  (Biodiversity is good!)
  • Natives (15) – How much of the yard is planted with native species?  (Increasing the use of native species is a top priority for Skokie's new sustainability plan!)
  • Less Turf (5) – How much of the yard is plantings other than turf grass? 

Maintenance - 20 POINTS

Well-maintained yards add value to the home and the community. Judges will consider two criteria:

  • Hardscaping (10) – Is the building clean and in good repair? Is the paving clean and free of cracks and weeds?
  • Landscaping (10) –  Are the plantings well cared for?

Special Awards

Pollinator Pantry

Edible Garden

  • Does your front yard include food for humans like herbs, fruit or vegetables?  Integrated plantings and/or separated edible planting areas are qualified to win!

Skokie’s Best

  • The very best gardens in Skokie are eligible for special recognition!  Judges will select the Top 5 ranked gardens overall.  
  • In addition to the primary judging criteria, the winning yards will not include any invasive plants from the IL Exotic Weeds list. 
    Click for the top offenders list.