Lakewood, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver, has worked diligently to move forward for its businesses, its non-profit organizations and its residents. Their efforts have resulted in three prestigious awards being bestowed upon the town in 2011.
Lakewood Named All-America City
Lakewood, Colorado won the coveted 2011 All-America City Award from the National Civic League, recognizing the City's collaboration with a wide range of community organizations and residents. .
The All-America City Award is a long-standing and prestigious award given by the National Civic League to 10 communities each year to recognize their ability to bring residents, organizations and government together to solve the challenges in their communities. The announcement of the 10 cities was made at a ceremony in Kansas City, Mo.
“This is a meaningful award for the City of Lakewood and all its partners in the community,” said Mayor Bob Murphy. “This award reflects the culture of Lakewood, which is that our residents, our businesses and our nonprofit organizations work together to find better ways to serve those who live and work in the city. That culture remains unchanged from the time when the city's incorporation was founded on our eclectic neighborhoods coming together to create Lakewood.”
The National Civic League bestowed an additional honor, the first annual Diversity Award for extraordinary and innovative success in advancing diversity and inclusiveness in the community.
Lakewood submitted the three following projects. First is the multiyear and multi-pronged planning effort to renew West Colfax Avenue by providing new zoning that expands land-use opportunities and to plan for the coming West Corridor light-rail line and its stations to manage coming changes to facilitate the best development in the right locations. This effort involved nearly 1,000 residents. Second is the Greening Lakewood Business Partnership to bring energy-efficient retrofits to the more than 1,500 older, existing office and commercial buildings in Lakewood. Third is the opening of the Jefferson County branch of the Boys and Girls Club at O’Connell Middle School in Lakewood, an effort that involved the entire community rallying around the goal of providing a special and safe place for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth in Lakewood.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our community,” said City Manager Kathy Hodgson. “All of these projects are examples of the residents, businesses and nonprofits taking action and the City providing the help and support it could to accomplish what the community wanted.”
For more information on the All-America City Award, visit www.AllAmericaCityAward.com.
Lakewood Wins National Gold Medal Award
The City of Lakewood's Department of Community Resources won the 2011 National Gold Medal Award, the highest national honor for excellence in park and recreation programs, services and management.
Presented by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the prize was announced in Atlanta, Georgia, during NRPA's Annual Congress & Exposition.
Lakewood received the top honor for communities with populations of 100,001 to 250,000. Three other finalists from across the county competed for the Gold Medal in this division.
This award is given to communities that demonstrate a superior ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collaboration of residents, staff and elected officials. Each agency is judged on volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, long-range planning and other factors. A panel of five parks and recreation professionals with experience at the local and national level reviewed and judged the application materials.
The Department of Community Resources has seven divisions that work together to provide the residents of Lakewood with outstanding parks, recreation, arts and culture, and family services facilities and programs. Community Resources offers opportunities that enhance the lives of Lakewood residents. The department oversees more than 99 parks, indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, a museum, visual art galleries, two golf courses, four recreation centers, an older adult community center, Head Start and early childhood services, and 195 miles of hiking and walking paths. It also provides inclusion services for those with disabilities and other needs to ensure that all residents can participate in recreation and sports activities as well as summer camps.
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