2016 Community Excellence Awards Finalists

After a rousing month of competition, in which an esteemed panel of judges ranked each Community Excellence Award project and over 8,600 online votes were cast, we are now ready to announce the results.

The four finalists for the 2016 Community Excellence Awards are:


Funding for the Future

Washtenaw Coordinated Funders
Washtenaw County Government/City of Ann Arbor

Michigan in Motion

Rotary Kayak Launch
City of Gibraltar

Place for Talent

Improvement of John R Corridor, Hazel Park

Strength in Structure

Beaverton Activity Center, The HUB of Activities
City of Beaverton


These finalists will present their projects at the League Convention at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, September 14-16!
Everyone who attends will have a chance to vote for their favorite project and help determine the next winner in the Race for the Cup!


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2016 Judges

This year's Community Excellence Award judges have graciously agreed to review all of the 2016 entries and score them based on the three primary criteria: replicability; creativity and originality; and community impact. Their scores will be combined with online votes to reach a final score.


Nina Ignaczak, Managing Editor


Renee Johnston,
Saginaw Community Foundation



Project Leaders as of July 30, 2016

(This will be updated once per day by 5 pm)

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Beautiful parks with lots of fun activities, streets and sidewalks that provide smooth sailing to our destination, and a public safety department that quickly responds when called. These are just some of the elements that make our communities great places to live. But in light of shrinking resources, funding them is another story. That’s where creativity comes into the picture. What cost-saving techniques, processes or collaborations have you put into play to provide the best possible services for current and future residents and businesses?

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In Michigan, we love zipping down the road in our cars, even if we’re just going to the corner store. But increasingly we, and thriving metropolitan regions around the world, are realizing the need for more than one way to get around town. Providing safe, attractive options for pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit riders makes our communities more inviting to people of all ages. How are you encouraging the development and use of multiple modes of transportation in your city or region?


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Laptops, smart phones and other types of technology make it possible for today’s knowledge-based talent to work from just about anywhere. A trendy coffee shop or a comfortable home office fits the bill just as well as a dedicated space at company headquarters. So before even starting the job hunt, many young people first choose where they want to live – vibrant cities with a strong emphasis on arts and culture, physical design and walkability, transit options, connectivity, and an entrepreneurial environment. What amenities is your community developing to attract these talented workers?


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Anyone who has been stuck in traffic behind road, water and sewer construction crews has a pretty good idea how expensive it is to build and repair infrastructure. Smart growth principles can help communities rein in those costs. By encouraging the efficient use of existing infrastructure, cities can keep more money in their coffers, beef-up their tax revenue, and make their residents happy with improved delivery of services. How has your community made the best use of existing infrastructure?


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