These projects, policies or plans promote the health and wellness of communities in rural or urban areas and could include neighborhood revitalization, community redevelopment and cross-sector collaborations.
Below please find the 2020-21 finalists for the Healthy Communities category. The Crescordia winners and Awards of Distinction will be announced at the 40th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards gala held on March 19, 2022.
Desert Sky Park promotes an active lifestyle for all ages now and in the future with its ability to host different types of you/adults sports and large scale city events. Building the park in a flood basin provided a financial benefit for Gilbert. Maintaining the overall vision of Desert Sky Park, the Town of Gilbert collaborated with many partners and engaged in intense coordination and collaboration with the surrounding neighbors and public and private agencies to ensure Desert Sky Park met the community's needs. Town of Gilbert, Hunter Contracting Co., Kimley-Horn Associates Inc., Siteworks Landscape Development and Maintenance, Pacific Aquascape International, Kimbrell Electric, Overton Builders LLC
The Community Master Plan will facilitate the replacement of 577 outdated public housing units with over 1,000 new public housing and market-rate multi-family units on a 50-acre project site that spans two development areas, The project will include additional public housing, additive shade, additive park and green space, additional parking, and LEED Neighborhood Development certification. As well, the plan will include the use of public art, opportunities for environmental education, shady respite areas, universal accessibility, localized amenity areas, traffic calming measures, fine-grained pedestrian circulation network, parking, and modern respectful architecture. Gorman & Company, Norris Design
Equitable Engagement in Sedona’s Immigrant Community
The City of Sedona partnered with Northern Arizona Institutions for Community Leadership to increase equity in the City’s engagement processes and to support resiliency-building projects in the immigrant community of Sedona. The primary purpose of the project was to build relationships with the immigrant community in Sedona, as those residents are too often left out of decision-making processes. City of Sedona, Northern Arizona Institutions for Community Leadership
Gilbert Regional Park Phase 1 is setting a new standard for parks and recreation both in Arizona and nationally. It serves multiple program needs and provides recreation amenities while embodying the priorities of health, wellness and community. Project highlights include a playground inspired by the nearby San Tan mountains, an events lawn that hosts morning yoga classes, a performance-pavilion designed by Architekton and miles of regional trail connections. Town of Gilbert, Marc Taylor Inc., Architektron
Heritage at Surprise is a 100-unit permanent supportive rental housing community with rental units accessible to the physically disabled and sensory impaired, with a preference for veterans. The six-building development is an integral component of the comprehensive revitalization strategy for the Surprise Original Town Site. Through the active and conscious design planning that went into Heritage at Surprise, health and wellness are at the forefront of the housing community. Site amenities promoting a healthy and active lifestyle include a food pantry, playground, and recreational courtyard. In addition to factoring physical wellbeing into the design process, support of mental health has been given special attention.
Throughout history, Native American communities have held a special relationship with the animals, particularly birds and their feathers. Feathers are present in the celebration of birth, the passage to man and womanhood, the healing of the sick and the recognition of death – the cycle of life. Liberty Wildlife is a conservation non-profit and the only organization permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to accept, hold, and distribute non-eagle feathers to Native Americans for religious and ceremonial purposes. For every feather sent out, one less feather will be purchased on the black market, and one less bird taken from the wild. Liberty Wildlife
Optima Kierland Center is a 21st century urban solution to residential design located in Scottsdale. Beautifully landscaped luxury residential buildings are located on the 9.5-acre site, with more than 5.5-acres of landscaped open space with drought resistant plants on the ground level creating a park-like setting for the community while reducing ambient temperature and mitigating the heat island effect. Optima Inc., J. Lauren PR
The ideal office environment of the future after COVID will look a lot like Park Central. The revitalized Park Central Mall in Phoenix had a focus on health before the pandemic. It’s the home to several significant medical organizations and was designed to promote walkability, be bike-friendly and feature indoor-outdoor workspaces and open-air environments. Also, from a health and wellness perspective, the project addresses how the air is filtered, how the work environment is sanitized and how the amount of surface areas touched can be reduced. Plaza Companies, ON Advertising, Holualoa Companies
Paloma Community Park Phase project was established to meet the need for outdoor recreational opportunities for the residents of the northern sections of Peoria. The project was envisioned as a one-of-a kind active and passive park facility that would aesthetically blend with the rich riparian desert and mountain surroundings. The project achieved all functional goals while creating an aesthetically stunning oasis with a 3.5-acre fishing/irrigation lake and 21 acres of sports turf, all set with a backdrop of West Wing Mountain and surrounded by the pristine Sonoran Desert. City of Peoria, Valley Rain Construction, Hunter Contracting Company, Environmental Planning Group
The Phoenix Metropolitan Urban Forestry Roundtable, a multi-stakeholder group, improves tree care and planting in Metro Phoenix. The project measurably mitigates urban heat island, improves local air quality, and prioritizes environmental and social justice outcomes through municipal and private investment in trees — particularly in vulnerable neighborhoods currently lacking tree canopy. 800 volunteers have been trained to properly select, plan and maintain trees and 1,000 trees have been planted, resulting in 3M lbs of carbon dioxide sequestered. City of Phoenix, Arizona Sustainability Alliance, American Forests
U-Haul® International, Inc. prioritizes the health and wellness of its Team Members and their families. The do-it-yourself moving and self-storage leader is finalizing construction of a 54,208-square-foot conference and fitness center in Midtown Phoenix to provide its 1,800 Team Members on its corporate campus with opportunities to collaborate, exercise and receive medical care just steps from their workstations. U-Haul International Inc.