Beautification Committee

2021 Beautiful York County Calendar Photo Contest  This is an image of pollinatorsCONTEST ENTRY FORM

Calling all amateur photographers!  The York County Beautification Committee invites you, our citizens, to share your most beautiful photos of pollinators (ex: flowers, trees, bees, birds, butterflies!) for the chance to appear in the 2021 Beautiful York County calendar.  Photos are judged by the York County Beautification Committee based on the quality of the image and its adherence to the calendar’s theme.  Thirteen winners will be selected to appear in the calendar – one for each month and the cover - with each winner receiving $100!  All York County citizens are eligible to participate (submissions must be made by individuals who are not photographers by trade, and business photos are not accepted).  Submissions must include an address for verification of residency.  Addresses will not be listed in the calendar. Individuals submitting on behalf of a minor should list both their name and the minor’s name.

The deadline to submit your photos is Thursday, October 1. This contest is open only to York County residents.  Photos must be original pieces, and must not contain watermarks, screen credits, or other embellishments.  Up to two photos may be submitted from each individual. Each photo submission should include:

  • Citizen’s name and address (Individual’s name is required, no business names will be included).
  • A short description of what type of pollinator is shown in the photo.
  • Location in York County where the photo was taken (this information will be included in the calendar, but will not include specific addresses unless they are public areas).
  • An email address and telephone number where the citizen can be contacted.

Only digital JPEG photos will be accepted. Photos must be landscape (horizontal) format (no larger than 11 inches wide x 9 inches tall) and at least 300 dpi. Vertical photos and files larger than 20 megabytes will not be accepted.

Online submissions may be made here.  Individual’s whose photo is chosen for the calendar will receive a photo credit and two copies of the calendar to share.

By entering the contest, you agree to give the York County Beautification Committee rights to publish your photo in the 2021 calendar and to use it to promote the calendar and contest in the future in print and social media.

Helpful Hints:

  • Use the highest resolution setting on your digital camera.
  • Photograph pollinators in their natural environment/native habitat.
  • Photos should reflect the beauty of the areas where York County citizens live.

FAQ

Can I mail a CD/DVD/prints? Sorry, but no. With the volume of entries we receive, the time it would take to go through loading or scanning files makes this impractical for us.

Can I send a link to my online gallery? Only photos directly submitted will be considered. Entries containing links to online galleries will be disqualified.

Are black and white photographs acceptable?  Yes, as long as they apply to the standards set above.

I don’t have Photoshop, how do I adjust the file size? There are other applications that you can use, but explaining how to use them is outside our scope. Much information about photo editing can be found online. 

How do I make my files 300 dpi? You will need some photo editing software, such as Photoshop. The photos must be 300 dpi at approximately 9×11 in size.

My photo is a vertical, can I enter it? Our calendar is oriented in landscape format So, all calendar images are run horizontal. So, we cannot accept photos that are vertical.

I can’t decide which photo to send, can I send more? Individuals may submit two photos only.

Can more than one person from the same household enter? Yes.

Is there an age limit? No, but work by minors must be submitted by an adult. See the rules above.

Can I add an artistic signature to my photo? Sorry, no.  This calendar is to showcase the work of amateur photographers.

See the 2020 Beautiful York County Calendar

Adopt-A-Spot 
Any local community organization, business, or individual (18 years or older) is allowed to Adopt-A-Spot.  Volunteers commit to adopt their spot for a minimum of one year and agree to conduct quarterly cleanups of their proposed location.  Other beautification elements such as the planting and maintenance of shrubbery or flowers may also be added, pending approval by the appropriate County agencies or property owners.  The County will provide cleanup materials (bags, orange safety vests, etc.).  In addition, the County waives any fees that may be incurred for the disposal of garbage and recyclables at the York County Waste Management Center, provided information has been given at least one week prior to the cleanup.

Team Up 2 Clean up 

Learn more about our Community Cleanup Partnership Programs.

Chesapeake Bay License Plates

The Beautification Committee is a recipient of grant funds generated by the sale of "Friend of the Chesapeake" license plates.  The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund receives funds for each plate sold or renewed, and provides applicants with opportunities to receive funds in the form of grants.  Over $6 million have been awarded to date.  Learn more about the license plates and how to purchase them.

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

Want some ideas on how you can recycle or repurpose over 200 household items?  Check out this guide from Personal Creations, an online site specializing in one-of-a-kind personalized gifts.  If you have any questions regarding local best practices, please contact the Waste Management/Recycling Facility at (757) 890-3780.

This is an image from the Personal Creations Recycling Guide

Choose to Refuse (Single-Use Plastic)

First, what is single-use plastic? It’s plastic that’s intended to be used only once before it’s thrown away. That includes products such as plastic grocery bags, straws and coffee stirrers, most food packaging, Styrofoam to-go containers and much, much more.

When we use single-use plastic products, we’re making a bad problem even worse.

  • Did you know that in the next ten years, the plastic in our oceans is expected to triple?
  • Did you know that if we don’t change our behaviors NOW, in thirty years our oceans will have more plastic than fish?
  • Did you know that right now, there are more microplastics in our waters than there are stars in the Milky Way?
  • Did you know that a plastic bag or take-out container can be that harmful? It can. It is.
  • Did you know that when you choose to refuse single-use products, you increase the chance that our planet can recover from plastic overuse? Let’s all do our part and, together, we can make a difference.

Challenge yourself to get drastic and refuse to use single-use plastic. Choose a reusable or recyclable product instead.

This is an image of logo-choose-to-refuse

Clean Business Awards Program 

The York County Clean Business Program recognizes County businesses that recycle, and set an example for other businesses as a good environmental steward.  Exemplary environmental behavior may include, but is not limited to, keeping an attractive and litter-free storefront, participating in cleanup events with employees and the community, or providing education on native gardening, wildlife, or environmental protection.  Once per quarter, the Beautification Committee selects three County businesses to receive the Clean Business award (one business from upper, middle, and lower county).  The business receives a letter of thanks from the Beautification Committee and an award sign to display on their property for the quarter.

This is a picture of third quarter Clean Business Winner/Award3rd Quarter 2018 York County Clean Business Award Winners

Trex Recycling Challenge

The York County Beautification Committee is collecting plastic bags and wraps to participate in the Recycling Challenge, hosted by The Trex Company.  The Trex Company has hosted the Recycling Challenge since 2006, with the objective of educating public on the importance of plastic film recycling through school and community recycling programs. Participants collect plastic bags and film with the goal of collecting or exceeding 500 pounds of plastic in a 6 month period. If the goal is met the group is awarded an earth-friendly Trex bench, created from recycled plastic bags and film.  The YCBC plans to make this an ongoing program, and plans to donate a bench to local schools and public county areas.

This is a picture of Trex Bench Dedication at YRA

Plastic bags can be delivered to the Yorktown or Tabb Libraries, or the dropoff recycling center at 145 Goodwin Neck Road, Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  When delivering plastic bags, please make sure they are contained in some way, such as a box or paper/plastic bag.  

The following items are being collected (clean, dry and free of food and residue, please):

  • Grocery bags
  • Bread bags
  • Case overwrap
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper sleeves
  • Ice bags
  • Wood pellet bags (clean of all debris)
  • Ziplock and other reclosable bags
  • Produce bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Salt bags
  • Cereal bags

Hampton Roads Green Learning Guides

Green Learning is a free educational guide designed for third grade students. Written according to Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) guidelines by a team of experts who work in the region’s public works and public utilities departments, this resource connects students to their environment by combining educational information with colorful maps, interesting facts, and interactive activities to teach concepts such as watershed education, pollution prevention, stormwater management, water conservation, and resource management.  

Teacher’s Guide
An accompanying teacher’s guide has also been developed to enhance the use of Green Learning in the classroom. The teacher’s guide includes suggested resources and additional educational activities, and identifies the SOLs met by each section of Green Learning.

Green Learning was created by askHRgreen.org, a public education and outreach program that encourages environmental stewardship among all residents here in southeastern Virginia. It is funded by the 17 local governments in Hampton Roads and administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC).  Your contacts in York County are listed below. Please feel free to use these individuals
as a resource (or even for a class presentation!) in the future:


Recycling & Beautification: Samantha McNeil
Stormwater Education: Amy Green
Fats, Oils, and Grease: Amy Zieman, Randy Estness
Water Awareness: Amy Green

Mini Grants
We also wanted to let you know about an Environmental Education Mini Grant available to your classrooms. askHRgreen.org offers grants of up to $500 for environmentally-themed projects and may be used to fund a portion of or an entire project. All Hampton Roads school teachers (K-12) are eligible to apply. More information is available at: http://askhrgreen.org/grants/environmental-education-minigrant/.

BayStar Homes 
The BayStar Homes program is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, better known as askHRgreen.org. This regional organization recognizes homes who pledge to make a conscious effort to conserve and protect water in their homes.  BayStar Homes will receive a flag to advertise their commitment to their community, and information from their specific locality.

BayStar Business 

Like BayStar Homes, the BayStar Business program recognizes businesses who make a similar pledge to protecting the water in their area.  Water conservation techniques are adopted by these businesses, and they are provided with the tools to share their education with the business community.

Water Conservation Knowledge Center 

Green Living Blog - How it was 25 years ago

WATA
Want to find out how the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority helps our community?  Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) provides a transportation system to citizens and visitors of James City County, the City of Williamsburg, and the Bruton District of York County. WATA operates 8 fixed-routes and 3 specialty routes, including the Williamsburg Trolley, William & Mary Green Line, and Surry Line.

NuRide:  available in Hampton Roads, VA
Want to earn rewards when you walk, bike, telecommute, carpool, vanpool, take the train, subway, or bus, or work a compressed week?  Find out how by visiting NuRide.  There are tips on how to make greener trips, get around the Hampton Roads, VA area, and get rewards for participation.

Native Plants
The Beautification Committee encourages gardening to include plants that are native to the Southeast Virginia region.  Plants that are native to Hampton Roads have evolved in this specific area, are attractive and relatively easy to acquire and maintain, and offer various benefits to the local wildlife and environment.  Our committee can share this information with York citizens, who are dedicated to protecting our beautiful County environment!

This is a picture of a butterfly on plant in Yorktown

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