It's time again to recognize the projects and people who have made Bakersfield a more beautiful place in which to live.
The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for nominees for its annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards. Applications are due by Jan. 18, and the winners will be announced June 1 during a televised ceremony on KGET-TV 17.
The awards are meant for people who completed work in 2012 that helps to enhance the quality of life in Bakersfield.
"There are ordinary people doing extraordinary things on a daily basis, and it all contributes to the quality of life here in Bakersfield," said Cindy Pollard, chamber president and CEO.
As examples of what qualifies as improving the quality of life, Pollard listed past winners. For example, Ruby Harris won last year for teaching children nutrition at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center's Healthy Cooking and Gardening program.
"It gives people the opportunity to celebrate success, and it gives them the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of their neighbors," Pollard said. "It gets to the heart of all the threads that make Bakersfield such an incredible community."
Awards are given in 12 categories. They are:
* Active Adults (individual or group): An individual or group over age 55 who exemplify meaningful contributions, strength of character and commitment to our community.
* All-America City Tradition, Civic or Nonprofit: The collaboration of efforts that have enhanced the quality of life in Bakersfield.
* Architecture: The completion of a new design integrating the environment with space and materials.
* Arts (individual or group): Excellence or achievement by an individual or group in visual arts, dance, literature, music or theater.
* Commercial Remodel: The completion of a renovated design that upgrades an existing structure and/or incorporates the use of landscaping to enhance the aesthetic value of the property.
* Education: Efforts that promote or benefit education in our city at all levels.
* Environmental: An individual, group, business or organization that promotes preservation and conservation of our local environment.
* Health: An individual, group or organization that has made a significant contribution toward healthy living in Bakersfield through education, prevention or medical services.
* Humanitarian (individual): An individual whose personal effort has contributed to the community as a whole.
* Humanitarian (group): A group whose combined efforts have contributed to the community as a whole.
* Public/Private Partnership: The use of public/private funds in a partnership effort to enhance the quality of life in our community.
* Youth (individual or group): An individual or group under age 21 who, through personal involvement and endeavors, have answered the challenge of good citizenship.
To download an entry form, visit bakersfieldchamber.org. Self-nominations are accepted. Mail or bring the form to the chamber at 1725 Eye St., P.O. Box 1947, Bakersfield, CA 93303, addressed to the Beautiful Bakersfield Committee. Applications may also be faxed to 327-8751.