2625 Butterfield Rd. Ste 104S
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Phone 630-472-2851
Fax 630-472-3150


Entry Preparation--Quick-N-Easy

Submitting an Excellence in Landscape Award for consideration is a straightforward process but does take some initial planning. Below are some timelines to consider and steps to take to ensure your project stands apart.

You Tube Video "Let Your Work Shine"
This video was prepared by the ILCA Awards Committee to help new submitters understand how to submit a Gold Award-winning entry and what the judges are looking for during the awards review.


Up to 1 year prior

  • Budget for program entry
  • Identify project
  • Record pertinent information
  • Obtain client approval

Up to 1 month prior

  • Select photographs and create file copies
  • Compile records and make copies
  • Draft text

1 week prior

  • Organize entry information
  • Finalize text and entry form
  • Complete entry package
  • Mail/deliver entry

Improve Your Excellence in Landscape Awards Entries


  • Prepare in advance.

Project Descriptions

  • Anticipate longer times for writing descriptions.
  • Consider utilizing a unique name for your project as it will be displayed (i.e. "No Place Like Home" or "Serenity Now").
  • Identify constraints of the projects relating to owner's expectations and time.
  • Fully explain your contribution to the project.
  • Provide conclusion of results, and impact of your work on the project.


  • Use high quality photography in your entry.
  • Use photography to clearly reflect the progression and professionalism of your work.
  • Make sure the shots are staged.
  • Don't hesitate to include people in the shots as long as those people are not identifiable or could tie the project to your company.
  • Remove distractors including garden hoses, irrigation flags, debris, etc.
  • We've compiled a list of photographers from previous awards projects. Please feel free to contact them if you need a photographer for your project.

Mike Crews Photography
Mike Crews
Office: (630) 305-9116

Ron Capek Photography
Ron Capek
(630) 833-8396

Linda Oyama Bryan
(847) 251-0721

Dulce Rodriguez 
(708) 257-9456

Michael Cabrera

RA Hokanson Photography
Rolfe Hokanson
(844) 693-6867

Entry Form Information

  • Neatness and clarity count.
  • Use accurate information and complete all required selections as indicated on checklist.


  • The Excellence in Landscape Awards is an annual program.
  • Begin thinking about the program and its benefits for your company, staff morale and future marketing.
  • Have an active on-going awareness and desire to submit.
  • Budget for staff time and expenses for preparation of entries.


  • At the inception of the program assign an employee or committee to the project.
  • Facilitate the process by scheduling meetings, response dates and deadlines.
  • Understand the necessary requirements for submitting an awards package.
  • Make certain the entry form is current.


  • Qualify projects which will be ready for entry this year.
  • Identify new projects which can be considered for entry, possibly in a year or two.
  • Prequalify potential entries with clients during design and bidding.


  • Prepare a field notebook for each identified awards entry project.
  • Have good quality photographs taken of all identified projects.
  • Record before, during and after shots from similar angles to allow for comparative views.

Getting Started

  • Assess identified projects, anticipating submittal deadline.

Early Season

  • Fill out current (check deadline) entry forms for the projects you plan to submit.
  • Write preliminary descriptions for review.
  • Prepare and schedule timetable to complete each task required for entry submittal.

During Construction

  • Record information pertaining to the client's requirements, design solution, and construction needs of identified entry projects.
  • Have photographs taken of new and previously recorded views, showing scope of work.

On-Going Activities

  • Concentrate on showcasing your work. Begin to finalize necessary requirements for the awards entry.


  • Proceed to select and secure photos, final drawings and records of projects to be entered.
  • Enter and complete information for the current entry form.


  • Continue to photograph all identified projects in progress and collect and record project information in field notebooks.
  • Ensure good photo opportunities for projects - consider how projects are being maintained.

Finishing Touches

  • Review entry information and make adjustments for accuracy, impact and completeness.
  • Focus on completing entries and on possible future entries.

Entry Submittal

  • Complete and compile final entry package and fees.
  • Double check form to ensure accuracy.
  • Submit completed entry package by deadline of the early-bird savings.


  • Continue to record impact of award entry projects.
  • Review on-going projects for future entries.

Online Application

Word Document Application (submit via email)

Applications maybe submitted using the an online or paper based application The online program allows you to save your information and come back to it at a later date. Please select a link above to get started and follow the step-by-step directions to submit your entry.


© Copyright, 2015, Illinois Landscape Contractors Association - Serving Landscape Contractors Since 1959