14 Michigan Projects Compete for Statewide Community Excellence Award

Matt Bach
Michigan Municipal League
c: (810) 874-1073; [email protected]


14 Michigan Projects Compete for Statewide Community Excellence Award

ANN ARBOR, Michigan –Fourteen projects, programs, and initiatives involving communities throughout Michigan are vying for the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA)—the most prestigious Michigan Municipal League community honor.

The communities involved in this year’s competition are Birmingham, Caro, Cassopolis, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Ironwood, Meridian Township, Pentwater, Royal Oak, Southfield, Tawas City, Traverse City, and Vassar.

Preliminary voting will be done by a small voting board and will determine the four finalists, which we will announce on June 17. The top four projects selected will go on to compete at the League’s Convention, where they will present their projects on the main stage and market their projects at designated CEA finalist booths. This year’s Convention is taking place in Muskegon October 19-21. Convention attendees will vote for their favorite project, with the project winning the most votes awarded the official Community Excellence Award during the closing general session.

“We are impressed by each and every community that has submitted their projects,” said Barb Ziarko, the President of the League’s Board of Trustees and Sterling Heights councilmember. “These projects are great examples of people coming together to make their communities places where people want to live, and that will create a positive impact for generations to come.”

Since 2007, the CEA has been the League’s most prestigious community award. It’s also affectionately called “The Race for the Cup” because the winning community gets a large trophy and bragging rights for the year. The 2021 winner was Reimagining, Reinventing, and Renewing Auburn Road which was submitted by Rochester Hills. View all past winners here.

We provided topic suggestions for this year’s entries which range from civic engagement and innovative delivery of services to placemaking and redevelopment. Here is a look at the projects (click on each project title for additional details):

• Birmingham – City of Birmingham & Surrounding Communities Co-Response (CORE) Crisis Outreach Program
• Caro – Cultivating Community in Caro
• Cassopolis – Imagine Cass Project Village of Cassopolis: Small, Rural, and Exceptional
• Farmington Hills – City of Farmington Hills Community Center – the Hawk
• Ferndale – Ferndale Compost Pilot Program
• Grand Rapids – E H.Zero: Grand Rapids Policies and Programs for Equitable, Healthy, Zero Carbon Buildings
• Ironwood – City of Ironwood Downtown City Square
• Meridian Township – Marketplace on the Green in Meridian Township
• Pentwater – Pentwater PARK PLACE
• Royal Oak – Centennial Commons: Reimagining a Parking Lot into a Green Gathering Space
• Southfield – Public Art in Southfield Brings Aesthetic, Economic Benefits
• Tawas City – Tawas City Police Celebrates Pride Month
• Traverse City – Traverse City Boardman Lake Loop Trail
• Vassar – City of Vassar Floodplain Park Gains

For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, Assistant Director of Strategic Communications, at (734) 669-6317 and [email protected].


Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at

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