The Home Depot Foundation’s Awards of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development recognizes public-private partnerships that have successfully developed projects and/or initiatives that promote and exemplify a more sustainable community.  Truly sustainable projects take a holistic, integrated approach, whereby sustainability planning, affordable housing and the creation of green spaces and planting of trees are inextricably linked.

Projects that qualify for the Awards of Excellence in Sustainable Community Development program exhibit thoughtful construction of a neighborhood which includes green affordable housing and tree plantings and have gone beyond to address overarching community issues.  These projects have contributed to creating a stronger connection among the residents and addressed many of the broad scale issues as listed below:

  • treatment of stormwater
  • economic development
  • reducing urban heat island effect
  • disaster preparedness
  • carbon reduction strategies
  • abandoned and foreclosed properties
  • pedestrian friendliness
  • traffic calming
  • transit oriented development
  • resident health and quality of life
  • and/or other overarching community issues

Award Categories:
The Awards of Excellence go to both the cities and their non-profit partners representing the partnership that completed the local initiative.   The Foundation will recognize a National Winner, National Runner-up and up to three Honorable Mentions, including providing grants outlined below to the City’s non-profit partner in each winning project:

  1. National Winner – $75,000 grant
  2. National Runner-up – $25,000 grant
  3. Honorable Mention – $2,500 grant

The grants are to be used at the discretion of the non-profit to further the sustainability goals of the community.

Award Criteria:
Applications are evaluated based on how well the projects or initiatives meet the following criteria in three categories:

Overarching Sustainability:

  • Demonstrates superior strategic thinking about goals and outcomes of the neighborhood project/initiative as it relates to the city’s overall Sustainability Plan
  • Demonstrates success in public-private partnership in which leadership is shared
  • Quantifies positive impact on livability and economic viability of the community
  • Achieves sustained and varied involvement by diverse members of the community
  • Environmental Sustainability:
  • Utilizes sustainable design and construction practices in the production/preservation of the built environment with a particular focus on affordable housing and resident health
  • Quantifies how the project reduces the environmental footprint of the community
  • Enhances walk-ability, bicycling and mass transit access for the community
  • Reduces waste significantly and demonstrates leadership in recycling practices
  • Green Infrastructure:
  • Effectively demonstrates the economic, social, health and recreational value of green spaces and trees
  • Restores the overall local ecosystem health through remediation measures (i.e. stormwater management, reduction in heat island effect, habitat creation, etc.)
  • Demonstrates leadership in the use of emerging green infrastructure know-how and technology
  • Serves as a source of ongoing outreach, community-building and education

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