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Happy Earth Day! The Winner of the 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is…

on April 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm under

First of all, Happy Earth Day! It’s hard to believe that this is the 42nd year of recognizing April 22 as such an important date.

“Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.” ~ – Earth Day: The History of A Movement

…Getting back to the contest, this year we received a total of 12 entries from six different countries.  Without further ado, with 101 votes, the Winner of‘s 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof! Earth Day Photo Contest is…

Patrick Biller, who submitted the Toronto City Hall entry- congratulations for selecting a great project and for rallying your supporters!

As you know, the mission of the yearly “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is simply to have fun by creating interest in all kinds, styles, and sizes of beautiful living architecture, all while highlighting some outstanding designs. Designed to be quick and simple, it’s basically is a popularity contest among our international readership.  Any and all types of greenroofs are always eligible, any place on Earth.

Patrick, who hails from lovely Toronto, said in his entry:
“Toronto City Hall is an extremely important historical building in the city, and is also the city symbol.  This is the first time since the opening of Toronto City Hall in 1965 that the podium roof is a functional, beautiful public space. Although originally envisioned as a public gathering place, it never lived up to that billing due to the 120,000 sq ft of interlocking pavers without a shred of vegetation.  This $2.3-million green roof, which at 3,400 square metres is the largest in Toronto, is part of a $42.7-million plan to redo Nathan Phillips Square, set for completion in 2012.  The Nathan Phillips Square green roof was constructed with the LiveRoof brand hybrid modular green roof system. It contains a combination of 6″ deep and 4″ deep LiveRoof Standard Modules. It has everything from ornamental grasses to perennials, sedums, trees, benches for the public, a state of the art irrigation system, and advanced LED lighting.  This roof has become an important urban park and is enjoyed thoroughly by tourists and residents of this beautiful, vibrant city every day. Visit for more info on the project and more photos.” ~ Patrick Biller

We’ve highlighted Toronto City Hall before as our Greenroof Project of the Week – when it was still called the “Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project,” which was disassembled in 2009, below, and in September, 2010, too:

Newly reopened to the public in 2010, we’ll be featuring the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof tomorrow as our Greenroof Project of the Week in honor of Earth Day and Patrick’s submission – and Patrick will be receiving $100 for his entry, too.

Here’s another shot of Toronto City Hall by Patrick Biller:

The project receiving the second highest number of votes, 56, was the Aliso Viejo in San Juan Capistrano, California, submitted by Lauren Moss:

The third spot went to the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) in East Alton, Illinois, submitted by Joe Donnelly, which received 32 votes:

Thank you to all who entered and participated! All awesome projects!  View all of the entries here.  They are all unique and beautiful in different ways, and if we don’t already have them included in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, I hope to soon.  And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to Like us on Facebook and become part of’s online community.

By the way, if you are interested in learning more about Earth Day, here are some short, outstanding, and inspirational videos:’s “Earth Day: The History of A Movement” is an original 2:48 video broadcast by Frank Blair on NBC News from Wednesday, April 22, 1970 – very cool!  Look for the ending statement about global warming warnings if pollution wasn’t checked.

And Russell McLendon in MNN – Mother Nature Network – blogs about “Earth Day: 8 epic videos of our planet.”  He writes that “in honor of Earth Day’s all-inclusive nature, here’s a video tribute to all seven continents – plus the oceans and atmosphere – that highlights some of the planet’s less obvious wonders.”

These time lapse videos are simply spectacular!  I hope you enjoy them when you have time – they’re all about three minutes long.

Happy Earth Day and remember to “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!”

~ Linda V.