(RALEIGH) – North Carolina residents are invited to help celebrate places they love throughout the Old North State, thanks to the second annual "Great Places in North Carolina" initiative. Building on the success of last year's inaugural effort, the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC) will again recognize "Great Main Streets" throughout North Carolina.
New this year, the program will also recognize "Great Neighborhoods for Kids" across the state.
APA-NC members and the general public are being invited to nominate "Great Main Streets," a "Great Place in the Making," and "Great Neighborhoods for Kids" in the mountains, Piedmont, and coast. Successful nominations will highlight what makes each place special and how it enhances the local community. After the three-week nomination period has ended, an expert panel will choose the winners based on selection criteria they have developed.
The general public has the opportunity to nominate and then vote for a "People's Choice" winner for both favorite main streets and great neighborhoods in North Carolina. Individuals from throughout the state are invited to go to www.greatplacesnc.org for information on the online nomination and voting processes. One random nominator will be chosen to receive a one-year subscription to the magazine. For more information, the public is invited to view APA-NC's PSA on the initiative at greatplacesnc.org and to "like" the organization's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AmericanPlanningAssociationNC.
"We are very excited about the 2013 edition of our program, which includes a new category recognizing Great Neighborhoods for Kids," said Emily Beddingfield, chair of the initiative and a planner with the town of Clayton. "We invite residents across North Carolina to join us in identifying and celebrating great places throughout our state."
Winners will be announced on March 18, 2013. The five selected streets and one winning neighborhood will receive a framed certificate and will be featured in APA-NC outreach efforts and on www.greatplacesnc.org. This site will also identify all of the nominations that met the project criteria.
Last year's winners were: Asheville's Lexington Avenue; Charlotte's Tryon Street; Edenton's Broad Street; and Hillsborough's Churton Street as "Great Main Streets;" Gastonia's Main Avenue as a "Great Place in the Making"; and Mount Airy's Main Street as the "People's Choice" winner, with Southport coming in as a close runner-up.
"We were thrilled with the community support elicited by last year's 'Great Places in North Carolina' initiative," said Ben Hitchings, president of APA-NC. "As planners, we know that our state is filled with many wonderful places to celebrate so we are excited to see which great places North Carolinians nominate this year."