Burlington--The Vermont Public Places Awards program, designed to shine a spotlight on public places and spaces, recently recognized 11 noteworthy projects.

The biennial awards program honors projects that promote positive public uses and benefits by creating, preserving or enhancing exterior or interior public space, green corridors and networks of spaces. Nominated projects can be either completed or in the conceptual or master plan stage and may include components such as community or transportation planning, public recreation, historic preservation or urban and community forestry, among others.

The American Institute of Architects Vermont, Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Vermont Planners Association and the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program co-sponsored the awards. Recipients were selected by a jury of prominent Vermont planners, landscape architects and community and urban forestry professionals.

Merit Awards were presented to projects that are enriched by planning or design or that increase awareness of the benefits of creating public spaces and/or connecting downtowns, village centers or city neighborhoods to natural areas devoted to conservation, recreation and working lands. Projects receiving Honor Awards met those same criteria but had a significant feature or stood out as being exceptional overall. All recipients will receive a certificate and be recognized in a special online ceremony on June 8 at 7 p.m.

Projects earning Honor Awards, listed alphabetically, are:

--Alburgh Dunes State Park master plan, Alburgh

--Burlington City Hall Park restoration, Burlington

--Elm Street Park, Randolph; designed and created by local residents, led by Rosalind Burgess of Randolph

--Saxtons River Park, Village of Saxtons River

--Pierson Library and Historic Town Hall, Shelburne

--Union Elementary School Playground Project, Montpelier

--World War I Monument, Charlotte; monument and plantings maintained annually by Ted Roberts and Beth Sytsma of Charlotte

Recipients of Merit Awards are:

--City Center Park, South Burlington

--DIY Community Cookbook: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Making Your Community a More Livable Place, statewide; created by AARP Vermont

--Dog River Park, Northfield

--Fairlee Village Center Action Plan, Fairlee

For additional information about the winners, visit http://go.uvm.edu/vtucf-awards.


Gwen Kozlowski