NEW! Neat Neighborhoods Competition

The Neat Neighborhoods competition is a contest organized by the City of Springfield and the Neighborhood Advisory Council. The competition is supported by the presenting sponsor The Hatch Foundation and many other agencies.

The competition involves participating areas being rated on all aspects of their local environment and prizes awarded to the best under many different categories. The overall winner in each of the four City Council Zones is deemed “Neat Neighborhood” which is announced at a ceremony each year.

With progress monitored and detailed feedback, most participants initially enter the competition to generate interest about the environment in their community and create a solid platform on which to raise issues with relevant stakeholders. Over time, the areas attain a standard where competing for major prizes is within reach. As such it is very much a community development program across the City.

Different aspects of the competition are explored in this section, from the types of areas that enter to the assessment criteria used. We hope after reading it, you will be encouraged to enter the competition this year.

Please download the official Neat Neighborhood Competition Handbook for full details about all aspects of the competition.  We strongly recommend reading the Handbook prior to creating a team.

Create a Team

We strongly recommend you read the 2024 Neat Neighborhoods Competition Handbook before completing this form.

Create Neat Neighborhoods Team

By typing your name in the box below, I understand and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Neat Neighborhoods Competition and consent to the personal data contained in this form for the purpose of administering the Neat Neighborhoods Competition and other related initiatives. I also consent to this data being released to the Neat Neighborhoods Stewards as part of the Entry Form upon which our judging is based. I understand that the team carrying out this work will be advised that all data should be deleted once the specific task has been completed. I understand that Personal Data provided in this form will be retained by the City for a period of 3 years for the distribution of entry forms and information directly related to the competition.

I understand that I can withdraw my consent at any time to this information being stored or used in this way by emailing the Neat Neighborhoods project coordinator at

Join a Team

In order to join a team, there’s no form to complete. Please visit the “Get Involved” page for information about how to volunteer with a team.

Team Worksheet (completed at end of competition)
Neat Neighborhoods Team Worksheet
Community – Your Planning & Involvement

Points are awarded for the overall quality of the Entry Form and appropriateness of backup material submitted with your entry. Other key issues are:

  • the participation of the local community, businesses, schools and youth in general
  • working partnerships with local civic agencies
  • projects carried out and appropriate projects completed
  • existence of an achievable Neat Neighborhoods Plan.

Consideration will be given to social inclusion, whole of community approach, the role of volunteers and new residents in activities.

City Steward Interest Form (competition judge)
Neat Neighborhoods City Steward Interest

Please consider answering these optional demographic questions.

Age Bracket:
Do you have a disability?
Gender (choose all that apply)

As entries for the 2024 Neat Neighborhoods competition are received and registered, we will be updating a list here on the Clean Green Springfield website. This list will be broken down by City Council Zone and will show all of the entries as they are registered. This will be updated daily during the days after the closing date. We request that all groups check this list to ensure their entry has been received and registered. One week after the closing date, if you do not see your entry appearing on this list, please contact the Neat Neighborhoods coordinator.

The Neat Neighborhoods competition is free and open to all registered neighborhoods in the City limits of Springfield. Entrants are the ‘ambassadors’ for their neighborhoods and therefore are the primary contact in relation to correspondence. Ideally, entry should be made by a broad-based group that represents the entire neighborhood.

However, it is not expected that these structures have to be in place before entering. Entry from a credible body, such as a neighborhood association, school or business will also be accepted. Nonetheless, in all cases, it is expected that participation will be used to generate wider interest in the effort within the community. Progress on encouraging broader community involvement is a major part of the Neat Neighborhoods assessment criteria.

Each year, the main winners of the Neat Neighborhoods competition are announced at the annual NOVA Ceremony.

Representatives of award-winning Neat Neighborhood committees are invited to attend the awards ceremony.  In addition, sponsors, representatives from each Council Zone and the Neat Neighborhood adjudicators are invited. It is a great social occasion and an opportunity to meet with other committees from across the city.

Prizes totalling $40,000 are awarded, courtesy the Hatch Foundation.

Assessment of participating neighborhoods is carried out by an independent panel of adjudicators appointed by the Neighborhood Advisory Council and takes place during the months of April and May each year, on a date which is not specified. As a result, this assessment is conducted in secret. Each entrant is assessed under four criteria with a total of 100 points available as follows:
Category Points
Community – Your Planning & Involvement 25 Points
Public Places / Roads, Streets & Alleys 25 Points
Green Spaces 25 Points
Tidiness & Litter Control 25 Points
These criteria are applied to the physical environment of the area having regard to materials furnished by the entrant, which can, among other things, include a map, plans and photographs etc. Participants can specify sub-areas of special interest for adjudicators to look at, but full adjudication covers the whole area. This is normally defined by the neighborhood boundaries as identified by the City’s Planning & Development Department. As a result of this assessment, a number of entrants are identified as potential candidates for winning the overall title and are subject to not less than one more detailed assessment. Decisions on winners are made by the full panel of adjudicators. Once the winners have been announced, reports of all assessments are provided to each entrant and are made available online on this website.

© 2024 Clean Green Springfield