West Allis - No matter how humble or grand the house, it can glow with exuberant color to charm passersby, as is shown yet again in this year's West Allis beautification winners.
Ten homes that devote extra effort to beautification and maintenance were chosen for commendations by the West Allis Beautification Committee. The group also awarded five Porch Awards and four Patriotic Awards.
The Commendable Property Awards are given because such efforts boost the city’s curb appeal and promote a sense of civic pride, according to the Beautification Committee award mission statement.
The winners this year are Troy and Amy Daniels, 1556 S. 65th St.; Nancy Groth, 2363 S. 58th St.; Charles and Diane Cannistra, 5722 W. Fillmore Drive; Alan and Linda Thomas, 917 S. 75th St.; Dorothy E. Steinke Living Trust, 802 S. 121st St.; Trini and Cheryl Fregoso, 2470 W. 85th St.; Patricia Harvey and Gary Nagel, 2041 S. 93rd St.; Tom and Jane Carr, 2577 S. 95th St.; Mary Trudell, 9800 W. Montana Ave.; and Laurel and Edward Walkowiak Jr.
Each aldermanic district has two judges from the beautification committee who choose the top three finalists from all the nominations that can come from anyone. Then all the members of the committee score each of the 15 finalists on a scale of 1 to 5 in many categories. The top 10 are the winners. Those who have won are not eligible to win again for 10 years.
One of the judges Christina Lund described serving on the committee as beautiful.
"I am amazed at the creativity in landscape and design and the overall ability of our residents to nurture such amazing plant life," she said. "It is very apparent that their pride shines through in their attention to their homesteads."
District 4 judge Linda Taylor said, "When we look for properties, grass, flowers, upkeep and art are all considered." The properties must be maintained not only in the front but also on the sides and back, she said.
"I also look for unusual plants," Taylor said.
"Our finalists all had beautiful yards with upscale artwork and weedless flower beds," she said. "The care used in maintaining properties of this excellence is hard to find."
"I thoroughly enjoy this challenge every year," Taylor said. "I think most home owners in West Allis take care of their property well. We just like to highlight the spectacular ones."
Judge Paul Bodshaug said he won 10 years ago and thought would be fun to be on the committee.
In his first year, Bodshaug said he looks for overall appearance and maintenance.
"It doesn't have to be perfect but you can always tell when a person takes pride in their property," he said. He looks for nice plantings and a variety of plants and for him, an edged sidewalk is a big plus, he said.
"It's also nice to see how people use their creativity to display things in their yard by using recycled items and items generally that you would not think to use in your yard," Bodshaug said. "For example, one winner took two sizes of square concrete blocks and stacked them up creating a Frank Lloyd Wright display used as a plant stand. I thought that was one of the coolest things I saw this year."
"Another had bird cages on a shepherd's hook. Very nice looking," he said.
Best Porch Awards are given to recognize homeowners for their efforts of displaying flowers, flags and other decorations on their porches. Porch award winners are Monica and Ted Atkinson, 1549 S. 76th St.; Florencio Castro, 2032 S. 71st St.; Janette Ellwitz, 2034 S. 79th St.; Eric Euteneier and Brad Fellin, 1036 S. 75th St.; and Candace and Gregory West, 2461 S. 95th St.
Patriotic Display Awards were created to increase awareness of patriotism and celebrate allegiance to the country. Residents are encouraged to create patriotic theme displays, which could include flags, buntings, flowers, handcrafted or purchased items. Four Patriotic Awards were given this year. The winners are Deanna Day, 2903 S. 85th St.; Jennifer and Scott Troppmann, 7037 W. Beloit Road; Leona Wolfe and John Urschler, 7414 W. Madison St.; and Rosalyn and John Wilcox, 8351 W. Dryer Ave.