BELFAST, Maine — The Maine Association of Planners (MAP) presented its annual awards on June 21st at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast during the Annual MAP Conference titled “Back to the Future: Making the Most of Maine’s Opportunities”. The winners this year were:
Student Planner of the Year Award: Bryan Hill, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Nominated by USM Muskie School faculty, Mr. Hill was recognized for his work on transit route analysis related to income distributions in Portland.
Citizen Planner of the Year Award: Maxine Beecher, City of South Portland. As a former City Councilor and Mayor, Ms. Beecher has since 2007 served as the chair of three successive committees which successfully developed and saw adopted innovative ordinances on stormwater management and infill development on small lots of record, among others, and a Comprehensive Plan that was adopted and certified compliant by the State this year.
Professional Planner of the Year Award: Gary W. Fogg. Recently retired from his private planning practice, Mr. Fogg was recognized for his strategic planning work with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust in addition to his significant dedication as a volunteer on numerous planning committees in the Town of Topsham over the past 20 years.
Project of the Year Award: Rusty’s Middlesex Market, Topsham. The award was presented to Priority Real Estate Group LLC and accepted by James Howard, President and CEO. Rusty’s Middlesex Market is a small neighborhood store located at the intersection of Route 24 and Tedford Road that was recognized for its true cooperative approach to planning and development as it was a collaborative effort between the developer, the town and the neighborhood to develop ordinance amendments and create a creating gathering place for community events. The project challenged the industry standard that all convenience stores need to have everything out front and by demonstrating that design matters is an example to other communities across Maine.
Plan of the Year Award: Linking the Rural Regions of Four Counties in Maine to Enhance Transportation Opportunities and Improve Quality of Life. The Plan is the result of a study funded by a Federal Transit Administration TIGER2 grant and prepared by Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) and Tom Crikelair Associates in consultation with stakeholders in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Waldo Counties. The plan was recognized for its comprehensive effort to develop alternatives to increase the transportation options for rural residents, thereby increasing access to the greater Bangor metropolitan area. Not only will be the solutions be highly valued in the region when implemented, the principal recommendations are transferable to other rural areas throughout Maine and in other states. The award was accepted by Vicki Rusbult of EMDC. The complete plan can be viewed at http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/TIGER_II_REPORT.pdf.
The 2013 Maine Association of Planners Awards Committee was composed of Amanda Lessard, Town of Rangeley; Evan Richert, Richert Planning; James Francomano, City of Belfast; and Stephen Puleo, City of South Portland. The judging criteria are those used by the American Planning Association (APA) and the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (NNECAPA) awards programs. Winning nominations will be submitted by the Committee, working with the winner, to compete for regional awards from the NNECAPA. Winners will be encouraged to compete for the national planning (APA) awards as well.
The Maine Association of Planners is a nonprofit organization of over 100 members, including professional public, private, and nonprofit planners, citizen volunteers serving on local boards, and Mainers from other professions like attorneys, landscape architects, professors, and developers. Though our membership works in diverse settings, we are all dedicated to enhancing the practice of planning in Maine. For more information go to www.meplan.org.
Contact: Amanda Lessard, MAP Awards Committee Chair, at 207-864-3326 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.