2015 Call for NonProfit Applications

The 3rd annual pond and garden tour is Friday September 18 and Saturday September 19, 2015.

We’re seeking non profit applications to win a therapeutic waterfall, stream and garden from Grand Valley Garden VillageAquascape, and Inspired Landscapes. It’s the charitable aspect of the event, and a different non profit is selected every year.  (See photos from last year’s winner at the end of this.)

We strive to keep the application process simple; it’s this easy online submission that’s open for the month of August 2015. If you have applied previously, please do apply again – you may have been second choice and you just don’t know it.

Criteria for non profit applicants:

1. Must be located in Waterloo Region and serve our community
2. Must be a non profit, not for profit or charity
3. Must have a suitable location, which includes seating area (not a show piece in front yard, for example)
4. Must be able to maintain the water feature in-house (of course with input/advice as needed).
Additional information we want to know in the application:
5. Tell us why your location is the best to offer the soothing tranquility of water.  Tell us about what you do and the people you serve.  The Application includes an optional essay, max 500 words, on why your organization should win and how community members will benefit.
6. Can ‘check’ to agree that essays/photos can be shared via  social media & all marketing as part of our community building aspect of the tour.
7. Winning organization agrees to photo and video promotion by sponsors.

You’ll also need to upload a photo of the location where you want to see the feature.

We also have 4 extra criteria for the panel of judges for final selection when the running is tight. They are:

1. In house Benefit:  How many people have access to the feature.

2.  Over all Community Benefit: Is this a private location or open to the public, as in visitors, etc.  Who has demonstrated the greatest community building in their neighbourhoods so that the most people can benefit?  (This in no way affects the entries for private areas; it may be pertinent to tighten the final selection process.)

3.  Readiness:  Was the site in a position to have the build this fall?  By this I mean, were the other elements in place so that the feature could be enjoyed by all?  (For example; accessible seating/viewing areas, shade/sun areas, electrical access, location clearly approved, public access assured-for instance not dependent on neighbours.)

4.  Funding Capability: Finally, it was important to the judge’s panel that this gift not place any non profit in a position of struggling to find additional funding for the ‘readiness’ criteria. What if this was part of an overall dream or plan that hadn’t already received funding? If the feature was to enhance funding applications for improvements later on, what would the time frame for that be?  And so on.

(Believe me; I understand the irony of the Funding Capability.)

All this to say that we’ve learned a lot in the first two years, clearly in thanks to your applications.  We now realize important components that affect the selection process that we had not originally been able to foresee.

The healing benefits of moving water and gardens are well documented. Please do share this with any non profits you know who would appreciate a gift of this nature. (Value of prize is $15,000.)

Here are the before and after photos of last year’s winner: KW Habilitation on University in Waterloo, Ontario.

The area marked and ready for machines and volunteers

The area marked and ready for machines and volunteers


Offset by a stunning Japanese Maple and a Weeping White Pine

Offset by a stunning Japanese Maple and a Weeping White Pine


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