During the spring of 2013, the Beautification Committee determined that there was money in our bank accounts "just" sitting and not being used.  It was decided that we would create a "Seed Money" Award to be given to an applicant(s) who submits a project that best exemplifies the mission of the Beautification Committee, honoring the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains while seeking to reflect that beauty on the streets and in the lives of the citizens. 

The focus of the work must be gardening related, within Black Mountain, and adding a little something extra to our town.  The money for this project comes from proceeds raised at the Black Mountain Garden Show and Sale.  The amount of money awarded initially would not exceed $400 but we currently budget $600.  In addition, on-going maintenance will not be a responsibility of the Beautification Committee.  Members and relatives of the Beautification Committee are not eligible.

In 2014 we awarded three Seed Money Awards: in 2015 three; and in 2016 two.  We can award the entire amount requested, split among applicants and/or determine how much to award.  Since 2014 our recipients have been varied:

  • Swannanoa Valley Museum - garden in front for educational experience
  • Julia Stout, a local artist - a garden at Town Hall (Julia is now deceased)
  • Local book club - so they could plant milkweed
  • 3rd Grade Elementary School Reading Class - created an outdoor reading area and then invited to a tea to show off their accomplishments
  • Primary School - landscaping around school
  • Owen High School - environmental landscaping around campus
  • Black Mountain Home for Children - drip irrigation system for vegetable gardens
  • Own Middle School - plantings for an Appalachian Heritage Garden

The Seed Money Committee meets in January to discuss how we will proceed.  We have an article with pictures that runs in The Black Mountain News.  We post flyers and email everyone who has applied in the past to let them know that Seed Money time is approaching.  We also post our application on our website.  We allow about six weeks for applications to be received so that we can review and make recommendations before the entire committee.  Of course at the presentation we take pictures and then have them printed in The Black Mountain News along with an article.  [Pictured below are some of the past winners and completed projects.]

Seed Money Overview

2016 Seed Money Award Winners

The 2016 Seed Money Award was given two applicants who submit a project that best
exemplifies the committee’s mission - honoring the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains while seeking to reflect that beauty on the streets and in the lives of the citizens. We were very pleased with the all the submitted applications and wished we could have

funded them all.  We are thrilled to announce that the award will go two applicants:

  • The Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families received a Seed Money Award to
    install an automatic drip irrigation system for 15 raised vegetable beds.  Sarah Thomas,
    VP of Finance & Development accepts the award from Black Mountain Beautification
    Committee members Kate Ramsey on the left and Lyndall Noyes-Brownell on the right.

  • Charles D. Owen Middle School received a Seed Money Award for their Appalachian
    Heritage Garden to help promote a natural, low maintenance "Go Green" campus using
    less water and attracting helpful insects and birds.  Assistant Principal Barbara Guffy
    accepts the award from Black Mountain Beautification Committee members Kate Ramsey
    in the middle and Joyce Ackerman on the right.

The 2017 Seed Money Award will open next February and the application will be posted to this site.  If you have a gardening-related project within Black Mountain that exemplifies the committee's mission statement, please submit an application next year.  You may be the next winner!

Black Mountain Beautification Committee