We won!

Imagine Concrete visioning initiative wins AWC Municipal Excellence Award
By Jason Miller
posted 6.4.10

OLYMPIA — On June 24, 2010, the Town of Concrete will be honored with a Municipal Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) at its annual conference in Vancouver. Concrete won the Small Cities Successes category for its “Imagine Concrete” com-munity visioning initiative.

“It’s an amazing achievement and I’m proud of the people of Concrete for their energy and desire to bring about positive change,” said Concrete Mayor Judd Wilson. “It really shows what citizens can do when they put their minds to it.”

Imagine Concrete began in April 2009 as a grassroots effort designed to create collaboration among citizens, business owners, town officials, and other stakeholders to help plan and prioritize goals for the town’s future. That initial endeavor has grown into a community-wide outpouring of support and interest in Concrete’s future.
Five initiatives were identified and discussed during and after the first work-shop in April 2009:

  • Create a sustainable community/destination
  • Clean up public and private areas
  • Historic preservation
  • Promote and support local businesses
  • Zoning and planning

In September 2009, task forces were created to execute the five initiatives. Since their formation, the task forces have been busy working on projects in the community, including the Angele Cupples Community Garden, the restoration of the Lone Star building, the construction of a fence to increase safety at the Silo Park playground, and an economic development plan. Imagine Concrete also has embarked on the larger task of creating a healthy, sustainable community.

Out of more than 50 entries, Concrete’s entry was one of seven projects selected to receive an Excellence Award at AWC’s 77th Annual Conference. Entries are judged by subject category and each category has one winner.
“Amazing, this is absolutely amazing,” said Eric Archuletta, the former Antioch University graduate student who came to study Concrete for its capacity to become a sustainable rural community—and stayed to help form the Imagine Concrete steering committee and facilitate the workshops in 2009.

“A lot of my joy this year has been to watch the dreams from Imagine Concrete become reality. This award is the result of all those who participated in Imagine Concrete and dared to dream big dreams,” said Archuletta.

Now in their 20th year, the Municipal Excellence Awards are presented to cities that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in promoting community excellence. The competition recognizes a community’s achievement and encourages other cities to develop similar programs. The hard work and dedication proven in each of the projects makes a community stronger, especially when the focus is on improving its future.

“The Municipal Excellence Award demonstrates the high level of innovation and commitment to developing strong communities by city officials across the state of Washington,” said AWC CEO Mike McCarty.
Imagine Concrete was planned and facilitated by a steering committee whose members included Eric Archuletta, Valerie Stafford, Rick Cisar, Lou Hillman, Barbara Hawkings, Shelle Timmer, Andrea Fichter, Jean Johnson, Launi Harrell, and Jason Miller, chair.

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