BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has announced the recipients of the 2018 Main Street Awards honoring communities that show excellence in elevating the three pillars of the Main Street Initiative through local projects or other efforts.
“We deeply appreciate the commitment and dedication of communities to differentiate and enhance the quality of life for their residents, present and future,” Burgum said. “It’s with great pleasure and gratitude that we recognize these communities for efforts to create vibrant communities poised to attract and retain a 21st century workforce.”
The Main Street Awards are a collaborative effort of the Office of the Governor, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and the North Dakota League of Cities. A selection committee made up of the collaborating agencies and partners judged the entries to make final awards.
The awards and winners are:
Revitalizer Award – Belfield, recognized for their Downtown Revitalization efforts. The community has worked to beautify their Main Street, protect and celebrate historic structures and turn their downtown into an attraction for all.
This award recognizes communities that take empty or dilapidated lots or structures and revitalize them with updated infrastructure, mixed-use retail, residential, parks or other unique assets.
Vibrancy Award – Watford City, in recognition of the Watford Market. The community of Watford City worked together to raise the funds to transition their farmers market into a weekly community event that adds life and activity to the surrounding area.
This award recognizes communities that have established cultural experiences, art appreciation, fine arts opportunities and/or community events which draw residents and visitors.
Mobilizer Award – Jamestown, for their Get Fit & Explore initiative. One of three local efforts addressing health issues such as obesity, this project will increase physical activity by adding educational components and fun interaction to one of the local recreational paths.
This award recognizes community efforts in creating convenient, inviting and multimodal transportation options for residents and visitors.
Differentiator Award – Binford, recognized for community improvement projects centered around the annual Binford Days event. The community worked together to add improvements that promote and celebrate their unique identity as the host of Binford Days, which draws thousands of people annually. Improvements included fresh paint on homes and businesses, planting flowers, new signage, new bleachers in the rodeo arena and welcome banners.
This award recognizes a community that finds its unique strength, community asset or niche while using it to attract business, workforce and visitors and enhance residents’ quality of life.
Legendary Heritage Award – Fargo, in recognition of the Fargo Historic Union. Two 1920s industrial buildings had been vacant for years until the Historic Union was restored and repurposed to host apartments, a brewery and office/retail space. This mixed-use development has preserved the beauty and integrity of the space while making an important contribution to downtown Fargo’s historic character.
This award recognizes communities focused on preserving and protecting the historical assets of their towns.
Future Leaders Empowerment Award – Rugby for the Rugby Downtown Project. This video project, led by local high school students, sought to uncover the origins of Rugby’s downtown and understand the important role the area plays in adding vibrancy to the community. The project has helped build momentum for local community improvement efforts by sharing the importance of a vibrant downtown through the eyes of youth.
This award recognizes a community that seeks to engage students in creating a healthy, vibrant community through leadership development, community planning or workforce exploration in community industries.
Main Street Excellence Award – This award is presented to communities in four population categories:
1) 10,000 and above – Grand Forks, for the Mayor’s Vibrancy Initiative. This initiative supported the development of a collective vision for the future of Grand Forks that emphasized projects that will elevate local quality of life for years to come. The diverse projects in the plan include public art, investment in parks, efficient infrastructure development and improvements to multi-modal transportation opportunities.
2) 9,999 - 1,500 – Stanley, for the Stanley Sports Complex project. Community members spent years raising the funds to build a new sports complex, showing great pride in their community and improving opportunities for youth development and healthy activity. This complex is a local attraction and also an asset to surrounding communities.
3) 1,499 to 500 – Garrison, recognized for their Main Street improvements. The community of Garrison has spent the last 18 months implementing projects such as new signage, a walking path, upgrades to the annual Dickens Festival, new bathrooms at the Main Street Park and various community events. Garrison truly found creative ways to add vibrancy and invest in their own bright future.
4) Less than 500 – Tuttle, in recognition of the Tuttle Rural Innovation Center. The result of a years-long effort to restore the Tuttle School, closed in 2007, the Tuttle Rural Innovation Center is now a mixed-use facility that provides a community gathering space, space for business incubation and a venue for educational opportunities. This effort has added vibrancy to the town by repurposing a historic structure and can serve as a model for other small towns.
These awards recognize communities whose efforts emulate the three pillars of Main Street success: Smart, Efficient Infrastructure; 21st Century Workforce; and Healthy, Vibrant Communities.
Additional details of award categories can be found at https://www.mainstreetnd.com/awards