Lakewood Beautiful awards program

Example of a Lakewood Beautiful home

Nominate your house! Nominate a neighbor’s house!

The Lakewood Beautiful program recognizes Lakewood residents who take extra care to keep their homes and yards (and local neighborhoods) looking great!

Studies show that home upkeep and beautification by caring, committed residents keeps crime rates low and property values healthy, thereby benefitting the whole community.

You can help honor those Lakewood residents who go “above and beyond” to keep their home and yards looking beautiful by submitting a nomination.

After the nomination deadline, photos are taken by a professional photographer of the street-facing portion of each home and yard. A panel of judges then reviews the photos and determines if the home will be recognized.

Winners will be honored at a Lakewood Celebrates reception in the fall.   

Four ways to honor a Lakewood beautiful home

There are four award categories in the Lakewood Beautiful program:

Beautiful Home Award. This is the city’s most traditional award, which has honored hundreds of Lakewood homes over three decades. This award recognizes the front-facing exterior and landscaping of a home, displaying exceptional care and pride of ownership.

Jackie Rynerson “Transformation Award.” This will honor homeowners who have remodeled the front-facing exterior and landscaping of their property over the past three years. The rejuvenation need not have been expensive or elaborate, but something that improves or enhances the overall property. To be eligible, the bulk of the improvements must have been done or overseen by the current homeowner, not a prior homeowner. Dated "before" and "after" pictures must be submitted with the nomination to demonstrate the transformation (digital photos may be uploaded to the online nomination form). Homes being marketed for sale are not eligible.

Jackie Rynerson was an original Lakewood resident who helped organize her fellow citizens to form the City of Lakewood in 1954. Jackie served as a city council member from 1978 to 1990, and she created the original Lakewood Beautiful to inspire and honor Lakewood homeowners.

Neat and Tidy Award. This newest category was added to recognize homeowners who are consistent with maintaining their landscaping and a clean home exterior.

Water-Wise Award. This honors beautiful homes with beautiful yards nominated in one of the first three categories who deserve extra recognition for landscaping that utilizes water-conserving irrigation devices and plantings.

What does it take to be a "Lakewood Beautiful" home?

Take a look at the homes of past Lakewood Beautiful honorees.  

Lakewood Beautiful judges aren’t looking for the most expensive or elaborately landscaped homes. Past winners’ homes were distinguished not just by attractive style, but for displaying exceptional care and pride of ownership, such as:

  • Neat, clean and well-maintained exterior.
  • Landscaping design of front yard and parkway in harmony and balance with home.
  • Good use of plant variety, texture, color.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Overall consistent care of property and landscaping.

Water-wise winning tips

Water-wise winners are selected from among the Beautiful Home and Jackie Rynerson "Transformation Award" honorees. 

Excellent candidates for this award would be homes that include many of these features in their front yards:

  • Plants grouped according to water needs.
  • Drought-tolerant or native plants.
  • Use of low-water-use irrigation system.
  • Minimal turf in landscaping.
  • Water-permeable ground covering and hardscape.

Judges' tips for highest marks

  • Shrubs should not block out windows, obstruct walkways, entrances and doorways.
  • Trees should be proportional in size to the home, as trees too large will obstruct the view of the home. 
  • Rock, wood bark or compost in planters should be evenly distributed, fresh looking and weed free.
  • Raised planters should be consistent with each other in the material used (e.g., a red brick planter should be consistent with red brick, with no missing grout or bricks). 
  • No dead or missing plant material, or sparsely planted planter areas.
  • Turf should be trimmed, with no visible dry areas and as weed free as possible.
  • Parkway needs to be maintained to the standards of the rest of the property.
  • Walkways and driveways should be free of cracks, stains or missing portions.
  • Porches should be free of shoes, papers and debris.
  • Extra objects in planters, porches or other landscaped areas should generally not have things in or on them that do not relate to the landscaping.
  •  A well-maintained exterior includes no rusted security doors, no peeling paint, loose or missing rain gutters, and no loose or hanging roofing material or tarps on the roof.

Avoid these disqualifying issues

There are instances where code enforcement issues such as those below could prevent homes from winning the prestigious Lakewood Beautiful recognition.

Be sure your home has the best chances of garnering the recognition it deserves. 

Ratio of hardscape vs. landscape for your front yard.

  • Up to a maximum of 60 percent of the front yard may be  hardscape/impermeable surface, such as existing driveways, walkways, and protruding porch areas.
  • The remaining 40 percent of the yard would need to be organic landscaping/permeable surface, with half of that consisting of live plant material (grass, plants, bushes, flowers).
  • While homeowners can have more than 40 percent of their front yard consist of organic landscaping/permeable surfaces, you cannot, for instance, remove the driveway to be 100 percent organic matter. 

Trash containers

All trash carts need to be out of public view. A privacy screen is one option to discreetly conceal trash carts stored on the driveway or side of the house. 


Canopies are not allowed to be in the driveway leading to the garage.

Canopies can be in the rear yard as long as they are at least 3 feet from property lines. 


All additions to a home require a permit.

If you have any questions regarding code enforcement policies, you can speak to a friendly public information representative at 562-866-9771, ext. 2140.