The Winner of our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest Is…

April 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Photo submissions and voting stopped yesterday for Greenroofs.com‘s second annual “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest and with a total of 71 votes, the winner is:

Aqua in Chicago, Illinois, USA!

“The Aqua, Chicago, Illinois, USA taken by Tim Barrett, Barrett Company, Millington, NJ” ~ Linda Smith

Well, it’s not the most descriptive entry by a long shot, but it sure makes up for it visually.  Congratulations to Linda Smith from Barrett Company who submitted this lovely project!  One of the tallest buildings in Chicago, the Aqua is a $4 billion development with an 80,000 sf intensive greenroof.  The 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper is located in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago designed in the Modern architectural style.  The beautiful terrace gardens comes complete with gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track and even a fire pit.

Linda will receive a check for $100 and we’ll be highlighting it soon as our GPW, or Greenroof Project of the Week.  I want to get more shots of this stunning recreational greenroof and project info to share with you first.

The Aqua was neck and neck with Cultivated Abundance, another beautiful and sensitive project in New York City, below.  But yesterday, Friday, the voting really got furious and it’s obvious the Aqua fans made the difference into the evening hours.

Cultivated Abundance was submitted by Jennifer Nitzky from Mark K Morrison Landscape Architecture PC and came in second place, receiving a total of 59 votes.  I have to say that Jennifer’s write up is certainly the best – remember I wanted everyone to tell us why they felt their project was worthy of being an example of loving the Earth?  Read her entry below:

“Cultivated Abundance, a 2,000 SF intensive/extensive green roof with commanding views of New York Harbor is located on the penthouse of The Visionaire, a LEED Platinum residential high rise in Battery Park City. This dynamic intensive/extensive green roof in New York City sets a new precedent for cultivated abundance while incorporating such sustainable initiatives as recycling gray water for irrigation and retaining 95% of storm water on site. The vision and collaborative efforts of the landscape architect and client resulted in a residential landscape which celebrates bio-diversity, environmental responsibility and provides an urban farming component worthy of educational dialogue for urbanites looking to produce their own food with over 160 different species of plants. (photo credit: Mark K Morrison, RLA, FASLA, GRP)”

This year, we organized our Photo Contest a bit differently from last and utilized Facebook - each person could vote multiple times for their favorite, but just one time per day.  In 2010 we had a total of 1,500 votes for readers’ favorites, compared to this year’s 212 votes.  This really lowered the overall number of votes per project, but we felt it would provide a fairer approach than simply voting a ton of times a day for your favorite.  In any case, it’s still a popularity contest!

It’s been fun for me to read all 161 of the comments from everyone on Facebook – most are short and sweet, which is a great way to get the point across quickly.  You can still do that, too, if you’re interested, and see who voted for whom by clicking on each photo.

There were a lot of cool projects from which to choose, from small to large, single family residential to huge institutional.  I’d like to include each of these in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database so that we can all learn more about them and see more photos, too.  See everyone’s submissions and their total vote counts here.

As Earth Month comes to a close for 2011, I hope we all continue honoring our planet with thoughtful decisions, living roofs and walls, and more forward-thinking sustainable design.

Happy greening!

~ Linda V.