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They’ve been sinking so much energy into the festival for 22 years, it was time volunteers involved were recognised for that.
Jess Somerville, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

The 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards, run over three days, recognises last year’s top volunteer groups and organisations from 27 districts across New Zealand. Garden Marlborough will represent your district on this national stage.

Trustpower Community Relations rep Jess Somerville says although the Marlborough region threw up some tough competition last year, Garden Marlborough emerged as clear winners.

“This year, Garden Marlborough are also offering scholarships for students interested in studying horticulture, keeping their passion alive with local youth

“From bringing tui birds back into town, to developing community gardens, Garden Marlborough projects have all embodied a beautiful community spirit,” Somerville says.

The gardening festival has been an icon in the Marlborough community for more than 20 years, and remains an economic benefit for the region. Each year, Julia Brown from Garden Marlborough marketing estimates two thirds of ticket sales come from Marlborough and Nelson areas. For the first time, this year will see the event profits send horticulture students through an NCEA Level 4 course at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

While in Wellington this weekend, each group will present for eight minutes on their achievements, also outlining why they deserve to win the top prize of $2,500. Presentations take place on Saturday (March 28) at the Memorial Lecture Theatre at Victoria University, followed by an awards dinner at Te Papa.

Along with representatives from Garden Marlborough, mayor Alistair Sowman from the Marlborough District will also be in attendance.

And local groups should be looking to ramp up their efforts ahead of the 2015 Trustpower Marlborough District Community Awards. Anyone can enter a group, and all voluntary groups and non-profit organisations are eligible. Entries open in June.