For the 23rd consecutive year, the annual City Gardens Contest sponsored by Greater Newark Conservancy will continue its tradition of recognizing Newark residents who have improved their streets and neighborhoods with beautiful plantings and thriving community gardens.  Volunteering as a judge for the City Gardens Contest is one of the most rewarding and inspirational experiences imaginable. Whether you love gardening or have never gardened before you can still be a volunteer judge in the City Gardens Contest. Judges will get to see Newark’s many hidden gardens and at the same time may pick up some secret tips to try in their own gardens next year. Judges do not have to be Newark residents.

All contestants invest hours of time and love in each special garden, whether a small flower barrel or a completely planted backyard.  Upon the arrival of the judges the proud gardener welcomes the group and is excited to show off the fruits of his or her labor.  Each garden is a surprise of creativity, imagination and the sheer ability to coax flowers and vegetables from small city spaces.

Come join the judging fun.  No expertise is needed.  The Conservancy staff gives a crash course in evaluation pointers and drives the group to each garden.  After all, there is a connection between nature, the soil and the human spirit.

Preliminary judging for the Contest will take place on June 27-29 with the final round of judging on Aug.13, 15 and 17.  For more information, contact Melody Schaeffer at the Conservancy at (973) 642-4646, X25, email or visit and download a form to volunteer as a judge.