Assistant Director of Strategic Communications
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2021
Finalists for MML Community Excellence Award Competition Announced
Final Four Projects Hail from Delta Township,East Lansing, Rochester Hills, and Sterling Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan – The final four projects in the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition have been selected and now move on to the final round in September. The awards program run by the Michigan Municipal League seeks to honor the creativity and resourcefulness in cities, villages, and townships across the state as they find new and innovative ways to enhance the vibrancy of their communities.
The finalistsin the League’s annual contest are:
- Delta Charter Township – Delta and Lansing township’s Waverly Pathway
- East Lansing – The Daytime, Nighttime, Anytime, Place Project
- Rochester Hills – Reimaging, Reinventing, and Renewing Auburn Road
- Sterling Heights (online vote winner) – REcreating Recreation in Sterling Heights
The awards program received 25 entries this year, which is the most in a single year since the program started 14 years ago. Communities were encouraged to enter based on Civic Engagement, Innovative Delivery of Services, Intergovernmental Cooperation, Placemaking, Redevelopment, and COVID-19 Response & Recovery.
The peer-nominated CEAs, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages, and urban townships. It’s the highest and most prestigious award bestowed on a community by the statewide League. The winning community receives a large trophy/cup that they get to have on display for the next year as well as statewide attention and bragging rights.
The competition included an online voting component open to the public with the top online vote getter (Sterling Heights) automatically advancing to the final four. The other three projects (Delta Township, East Lansing, and Rochester Hills) were selected by a panel of judges. The final winner will be voted on by League members at the League’s 2021 Convention in Grand Rapids, Sept. 22-24.
Judges for this year’s competition were Alfredo Hernandez, Racial Equity Officer, Michigan Department of Civil Rights; Amy Hovey, Special Projects Coordinator, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; and Chad Livengood, Senior Editor, Crain’s Detroit Business.
“Every year we have recognized some truly amazing community programs and projects. Given the tremendous challenges our cities have faced during the global pandemic, this year’s nominees deserve to be honored more than ever,” said Michigan Municipal League President and Westland Mayor Bill Wild. “Each of them serves as an inspiration to communities across the state for their creativity and hard work. In selecting the finalists, all the judges commented how difficult it was to narrow down the field because all of the submissions were award-worthy.”
The other communities and projects involved in this year’s competition were (click here to view them all):
- City of Battle Creek Local Online Ordering and Delivery Platform
- City of Berkley Master Plan Community Engagement during COVID-19
- Blissfield – COVID-19 Mini Grants and Loans
- A Vision for Buchanan
- Centerline – Industrial Zone Redevelopment Through Strategic Medical Marihuana Ordinance
- Clay Township Little Pantry in the Park
- Crystal Falls – U.P. Notable Books Book Club
- Grand Haven Quick and Easy Council Vote Summaries
- Grand Rapids – The Bridge: Reimagining Public Events and Activation in the COVID-19 Era
- City of Grosse Pointe Public Safety Center
- Sustain Grosse Pointe Park Initiative
- This is Holland, One Holland
- Huntington Woods July 4th Virtual Parade 20
- Helping Kalamazoo Through COVID-19
- Madison Heights – Trail Tunes 2020: A Socially Distanced Music Festival that Safely Brought the Community Together
- Mount Pleasant Fitness Trail
- Orion Township’s Baldwin Road Widening and Beautification Project
- City of Plymouth Train App
- Tawas City Police Autism Awareness Campaign 2021
- Three Rivers Armstrong Park – Field of Dreams
- Wyoming COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Previous years’ winners can be viewed here.
For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].
Michigan Municipal Leagueis 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 mml.org.