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ARC Recognizes Six Local Governments for Innovative Community Programs

Posted on: Mar 24, 2016

Contact: Jim Jaquish
Phone: 404-463-3194

(Atlanta – Mar 24, 2016)

(ATLANTA, March 23, 2016) —The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) today honored six local governments as winners of the 2016 CREATE Community Awards for their innovative efforts to build better communities and improve the region’s quality of life.

“These jurisdictions are to be commended for developing creative solutions that help make the Atlanta region an even better place to live,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director. “By honoring these programs, we hope to spark an exchange of ideas across the metro Atlanta area.”

The CREATE Community Awards recognize six areas for innovation: Arts & Culture, Community Involvement & Collaboration, Educational Excellence, Environmental Sustainability, Regional Prosperity & Economic Development and Technology (Town Center CID).

ARC’s 2016 CREATE Community winners are:

Arts & Culture
Prelude to the Fourth, City of Lawrenceville

Each July third , the City of Lawrenceville, in partnership with the Aurora Theatre, presents Prelude to the Fourth, a free outdoor musical performance. Held on the lawn downtown, the festival includes a concert, broadway musical and fireworks display. Last year’s 10th annual event attracted 6,000 people, roughly 20 percent of Lawrenceville’s population. The event recognizes the economic and community-building value of the arts in communities of all shapes and sizes.
Contact: Lisa Sherman, City of Lawrenceville, 678-226-2639

Community Involvement & Collaboration:
The GR8 Exchange, City of Norcross and Partners

More than 4,000 Gwinnett County residents shared their views on the transportation during The GR8 Exchange, the most comprehensive transportation survey in the county’s history. The survey gathered input regarding the current state of Gwinnett’s transportation network as well as potential strategic investments that respondents would like to see in the future. Many partners promoted the survey, which was spearheaded by the City of Norcross, Gwinnett Village CID and Gwinnett Place CID.
Contact: Bucky Johnson, City of Norcross, 770-421-2065

Educational Excellence:
Suwanee Youth Leaders, City of Suwanee

The Suwanee Youth Leaders is an eight-month leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors in public, private or home-based schools who live within three Gwinnett County public school districts. The program, focused on civic involvement, leadership skills and volunteering, begins with a two-day retreat and meets monthly, March through September. Participants hear from local leaders and learn about leadership principles, ethics, law and justice and community involvement.
Contact: Abby Wilkerson, City of Suwanee, 770-904-3386

Environmental Sustainability:
Climate Action Plan, City of Atlanta

The City of Atlanta Climate Action Plan recognizes the risk that climate change poses to its citizens and provides guiding objectives and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developed with input from the city’s stakeholder groups, the plan’s goals are to:

Reduce energy and water consumption in commercial and residential buildings in 20 percent by 2020 below the 2009 baseline
Increase the use of citywide renewable energy by 10 percent by 2030
Increase the landfill diversion rate to 80 percent by 2020
Reduce emissions from vehicle-miles-traveled by 20 percent by 2020
Increase green spaces and community gardens by seven percent by 2020 and 10 percent by 2025.

Contact: Dr. Jairo Garcia, City of Atlanta, 404-210-7575

Regional Prosperity & Economic Development:
Tri-City Initiative, City of Lake City

Lake City, Forest Park and Morrow formed a partnership two years ago to promote redevelopment and economic growth in their communities. The Tri-City Initiative, spearheaded by the leaders of the three cities, has brought the potential for economic resurgence within arm’s reach.
Contact: Joel Lanken, City of Lake City, 404-366-8080

Zagster Bike Share Program, Town Center CID

The Town Center Community Improvement District’s Zagster Bike Share program provides an affordable, convenient way for people in the Town Center area of Cobb County to get around town. By using the Zagster mobile app or text function, a user is able to unlock a bicycle at any Zagster bike station. The first hour of the ride is free, and each additional hour costs $3. Operational since November 2015, the program now has about 600 members who have logged 1,200 trips. The bike share program is averaging more than 80 new members and 150 rides each week.
Contact: Tracy Rathbone, Town Center CID, 678-350-5061

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