[singlepic id=225 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has urged social housing tenants to participate in the Queensland Water-Wise Garden Awards.

Mr Pitt said that nominations were now open to all of Queensland’s social housing tenants, who have until September 2010 to enter.

“It doesn’t matter what size or type of garden you have, whether it’s a balcony, patio, flower or vegetable garden,” Mr Pitt said.

“Gardening is a great activity and these awards go to show that everyone can get involved.

“Last year, in the far north alone, there were 258 entries, and over 1,100 entries were received statewide.

“Just like any other residents, public housing tenants take pride in their homes.

“It’s part of our Tenant Participation program and it’s one of the ways our own tenants are helping to challenge ideas about social housing in the community.”

Mr Pitt said the program involved 230 local tenant groups and 16 regional tenant groups across Queensland.

“Right now, we’re asking our tenants to put forward ideas for how we can make the program even better,” Mr Pitt said.

“We’re looking at ways of getting more tenants involved in the program and more active in the community.

“For example, the edible garden category encourages healthy lifestyles and supports the Bligh Government’s Q2 target of making Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people”.

Senior awards judge Marj Trainor said it was her tenth year judging the awards.

“Last year we had 258 entries which took us to gardens from Mossman to Cardwell. Entries from the Cape were judged by photographs,” Mrs Trainor said.

“In Innisfail we met an amazing senior who could only manage her garden with the help of her trusty ‘billy cart’ made by her nephew.

“Judging the children’s garden section is always a lot of fun. One kid had been gardening for about four year and always entered. He had a hearing impairment but had just received implants so it gave me great pleasure to call out his name as the winner knowing that he could hear me for the first time.”

The awards are judged on effort and creativity and how the garden promotes water-wise principles. A brochure and entry form will be posted to all social housing tenants.

Entries must be submitted by Wednesday 1 September 2010.

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