Garden competition introduces judges


The 1st Annual Martha’s Vineyard Islandwide Garden Competition, opening June 1 and continuing through July 31, 2022, has announced judges for the upcoming event.

Donna Arold, board member and vice president of communications for the M.V. Garden Club, has loved “playing in the dirt” since she was a child and was introduced to gardening by her dad, a landscape designer in New Jersey. Arold is a Certified Master Gardener who led the Giving Garden Outreach Program for the New Jersey Master Gardener Program and co-edited “Roots and Shoots,” a quarterly publication for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County in New Jersey. In her spare time, Arold tends to the herb, flower, and berry gardens at her Oak Bluffs home.

According to a press release from competition organizers, Suzan Bellincampi shares nature through “teaching, writing, and public speaking.” She serves as Islands director for Mass Audubon, writes the Vineyard Gazette weekly nature column, All Outdoors, and has authored two books — “Martha’s Vineyard: A Field Guide to Island Nature” and “The Nature of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Marc Fournier is the former arborist/horticulturist at The Trustees of Reservations’ Mytoi Japanese Garden. He has extensive experience in arboriculture, landscape design, sustainability, energy efficiency, building construction, recycling, organics diversion, materials management, public works, and facilities management. He is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a member of the USDA Forest Service Urban Forest Strike Team.

Fournier is a former deputy director of public works and highway superintendent in the town of Andover. He was also formerly director of plant operations and sustainability at Lasell College, director of public works in Hull, along with many other relevant positions across the state. Fournier is an MBA graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with concentrations in environmental management and organizational behavior. He is currently a consulting arborist and carpenter, enjoys spending time with his family, and restores vintage tools. He also serves as a volunteer on the board of the Andover Center for History & Culture, and the advisory committee of the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Martha’s Vineyard.

The competition, the first Islandwide event of its kind, will be the domain of amateur gardeners, who will have the opportunity to compete virtually in five garden categories: Container, Grand, Pollinator/Demonstration, Potager, and Whimsical.

To compete, gardens must be located on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Entry to the contest is free. Only one entry form per household is allowed. Entries will be accepted from June 1 to July 31, 2022. A submission portal is available at Submissions will be judged and winners selected by a panel of garden professionals and horticultural aficionados. Each entry will be reviewed by the judges and given points accordingly. The top garden with the most points in each category wins. Finalists and winners will be announced in August.

Follow the contest on Instagram @mvgardencompetition.