A Wauwatosa committee is on the hunt for local yards that make the city beautiful.

For at least the last 20 years, the city's beautification committee has recognized a long list of residential and commercial properties across the community for their well-maintained yards. The selected properties are dubbed a Yard of Distinction and receive both a certificate and a yard sign.

This year's winner's also receive a 10 percent discount at Stein's Garden & Home, said Matt Stano of Stano Landscaping. Stano, who is leading this year's selection process, said up to six commercial properties and up to three residences from each of the city's eight districts are chosen as winners by committee members. The award helps contribute to the overall beautification of the city, Stano said.

'It's there to encourage people to take care of their properties,' he said.

Sometimes committee members simply stumble upon an outstanding yard during their search, but more often they are found through nominations, he said. The selected homes are a blend of properties maintained by 'do-it-yourselfers' and professionally landscaped work, Stano said.

Each home must meet the criteria created by the committee, which includes requirements such as: the lawn is generally weed free, fertilized and watered; the use of garden art is restrained and tasteful; and natural mulch is consistent and blends into landscaping, among many other things.

Some of the property owners are invited to have their yards considered for the Secret Garden Tour, also sponsored by the Wauwatosa Beautification Committee. The tour, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9 this year, offers a chance to tour private gardens and the historic gardens at the Kneeland-Walker House, 7406 Hillcrest Drive.

Last year's winners are:

Residential winners

District 1

· Jan and Jack Herbert, 7808 Warren Ave.

· Bill and Sandy Scallon, 7733 Stickney Ave.

District 2

· Bonni Doerr, 1904 N. 85th St.

· Ann Stevens and Gene Guszkowski, 1035 Laurel Court

District 3

· Richard Raymond, 8120 Red Arrow Court

District 4

· Kathryn Garvey, 6839 Auburn Ave.

· Sharon Eiff, 1417 Lombard Court

· Rich and Diana Pine, 1428 N. 66th St.

District 5

· Bob and Joan Bach, 2446 N. 70th St.

· Joely and Dale Olen, 2463 N. 66th St.

· Carol Grande, 2655 N. 66th St.

District 6

· Christel Prade, 2539 N. 97th St.

· Bill and Jennifer Wirostko, 2343 N. 91st St.

· Chris and Dawn Colla, 2364 N. 82nd St.

District 7

· Jan Nosse, 2345 N. 114th St.

· Bob and Corinne Frese, 12322 W. Walnut Road

· Christopher Guziewicz and Sebastian Pjacques, 1307 N. 123rd St.

District 8

· Rita and Scott Piper, 4536 N. 110th St.

· Mark and Molly Olson, 9912 W. Ruby Ave.

· Tom and Amy Johnson, 4556 N. 106th St.

Commercial winners

· Woodlake Business and Technology Center, 10101 W. Innovation Drive

· Rays Wine & Spirits, 8930 W. North Ave.

· Red Dot, 6715 W. North Ave.

· Tower Optical, 2130 N. Mayfair Road

To submit a nomination, call (414) 899-3598. Selections are made by the end of July.

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