LANCASTER – The city of Lancaster’s effort to revitalize downtown Lancaster, dubbed “The BLVD Transformation Project,” has been awarded the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The BLVD was recognized for Overall Excellence, marking it as the top project nationwide for 2012.
The California Downtown Association also recognized The BLVD with its Award of Excellence for Physical Improvement.
“What we’ve done in downtown Lancaster is truly remarkable, and people across the nation are taking notice,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Through the tireless efforts of community members and stakeholders, City officials, downtown merchants, and our invaluable private partner, InSite Development, we have transformed a once-downtrodden downtown into the heartbeat of the Antelope Valley.”
The EPA’s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement recognizes exceptional approaches to development that protect the environment, encourage economic vitality, and enhance quality of life. The BLVD Transformation Project was selected to receive the award for Overall Excellence from among 47 applicants from 25 states. The winning entries were chosen based on their effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; fostering equitable development among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders; and serving as national models for environmentally and economically sustainable development.
“The 2012 winners of the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement are taking innovative steps to realize a vision of American communities that are clean, healthy, environmentally responsible, and economically resilient,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
The California Downtown Association (CDA) also recognized The BLVD Transformation Project with its Award of Excellence in the Physical Improvement category. The Association recognizes outstanding projects from throughout the State of California each year for excellence in Physical Improvement, Special Events and Promotions, and Planning. Lancaster previously won the 2010 award for Special Events and Promotions for the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix.
“The BLVD has outpaced our highest expectations, becoming a vibrant downtown area far faster than we ever thought possible,” said Erica Allbee, vice president of The BLVD Association and owner of All About Fitness gym. “Businesses are continuing to build, with new ones opening constantly. With amazing special events, a weekly farmer’s market, and a wide variety of businesses offering everything from designer candles and designer jeans to home décor and custom motorcycles, there’s always something to do or see on The BLVD.”
For more information on the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, including a complete list of winners in other categories and videos featuring each winning project, visit www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/awards.htm. For a complete list of awards won for The BLVD, visit www.cityoflancasterca.org/blvdawards.