10,000 Friends Extends Deadline For Commonwealth Awards Nominations

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania has extended its deadline for nominations for the 2015 Commonwealth Awards Program until September 28.

The Commonwealth Awards is 10,000 Friends' signature recognition program that honors and celebrates great development projects and the people who make them happen.  

This year, winners will be recognized at an special Awards event on December 2 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster.

Through the Commonwealth Awards, 10,000 Friends recognizes leading and innovative development projects that utilize best practices creating great walkable, sustainable, equitable, healthy communities.

Over the years, we have recognized a wide array of great projects - mixed-use, residential, commercial, industrial, public infrastructure, recreational/ green space, schools and other community institutions, and municipal planning projects - that demonstrate urban infill, historic rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, brownfield redevelopment, and other revitalization techniques.

A panel of jurors from across a range of relevant professional disciplines is enlisted to choose the award winners from among the project submissions.  The panel reviews projects utilizing metrics based on sound land use, smart transportation and smart growth principles. 

The Commonwealth Awards remain the only statewide smart growth award program in Pennsylvania.

The Commonwealth Awards reflect 10,000 Friends' commitment to improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. 10,000 Friends' approach is to build consensus among many diverse constituencies and to take effective action in support of responsible land use and policy reforms that will revitalize cities, boroughs and older suburbs; preserve agricultural and rural lands; and conserve natural, heritage and fiscal resources. 

Smart and innovative projects can and do serve as catalysts for more sustainable development.  By recognizing these efforts through the Commonwealth Awards, we hope to encourage civic leadership at all levels and encourage local developers to make more such projects a reality.

The Mark C. Schneider - Friend of Pennsylvania Award

In addition to the project awards, at the Commonwealth Awards program we present our highest individual honor - the Mark C. Schneider - Friend of Pennsylvania Award. 

10,000 Friends honors individuals for outstanding volunteer or professional service to improving their local built environments and creating great neighborhoods to live and work in Pennsylvania.

To honor a truly outstanding individual, our Board of Directors chooses the Mark C. Schneider Award honoree, "In Recognition of Exemplary and Outstanding Contributions to Policies and Projects that Advance the Vision and Mission of 10,000 Friends to Improve the Quality of Life for all Pennsylvanians through Responsible and Efficient Land Use." 

Previously known simply as the Friend of Pennsylvania Award, it was renamed in honor of the exemplary service and contributions of our late friend and Board Chairman, who died in a tragic bicycle accident in 2012. 

The award has been bestowed to just seven recipients since the Commonwealth Awards began in 2003, most recently to former Gov. Tom Ridge in 2013. Prior recipients include 10,000 Friends' founder Joanne Denworth, Caren Glotfelty formerly of the Heinz Endowments, civic and business leader Louis J. Appell, Jr., PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler, and former Board Member and State Representative Robert Butera

In 2012, the Friend of Pennsylvania Award was posthumously awarded to Mark C. Schneider, who in addition to his service to 10,000 Friends, was a statewide civic leader and visionary urban real estate developer.

For more information, visit the 10,000 Friends’ Commonwealth Awards webpage or contact Jack Machek at 717-234-6070 or send email to: Jmachek@10000friends.org.


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