Press Release: December 6, 2012
Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells
Immediate Release Contact: Charles Allen
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 408 (202)724-8072
Washington, D.C. 20004
Councilmember Tommy Wells to Host 6th Annual Livable, Walkable Awards
(Washington, DC) – On Friday, December 7th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Councilmember Tommy Wells will honor city and neighborhood leaders with the 6th Annual Livable, Walkable Awards. The event will be held in the Grand Lobby of the newly renovated Evening Star building – now the home of the Commission on Arts & Humanities and the Child & Family Services Agency – located at 200 I Street, SE and overlooking the recently opened Canal Park.
“To create a truly livable, walkable community, it takes leadership and vision — not just from those elected to office, but also from our neighbors, city employees, civic organizations, and local businesses,” said Mr. Wells. Over 200 nominations were made by the community and an award will be given in each of these categories, in addition to a special award for civic pride.
The event begins at 6:30 pm with food, beverage and live entertainment and a short program will begin at approximately 7:15 pm to announce the awards. The event is free and open to the public.
The recipients of the awards will be:
Neighbor Award – Anwar Saleem
Each year, this award goes to an individual that is making a significant difference to improve our community and help build a more livable, walkable city. This year’s award goes to Anwar Saleem, Executive Director of H Street Main Street. In recent years, H Street NE has begun to return to its former glory as a major commercial and retail corridor for District residents. Through his leadership with long-time H Street businesses, as well as embracing new entrepreneurs and business ideas, Anwar has helped lead the corridor’s resurgence that is creating vibrant sidewalks and busy storefronts – the type of small business success that is critical to making a neighborhood livable and walkable.
Community Organization Award – City Blossoms
Parks, green spaces and community gardens help to create livable, walkable neighborhoods. What began nine years ago as a volunteer project for City Blossoms, has since evolved into a year-round program that works with over 3,000 children and youth in various gardening projects. In Ward 6’s Shaw neighborhood, City Blossoms’ latest project has turned two empty lots into the Marion Intergenerational Garden. The garden pairs fresh food with educational opportunities for neighboring children, youth, adults and families. Tucked away on Marion Street, NW, it’s an example of a transformative space for a community and its residents.
Business Award – BicycleSPACE
When BicycleSPACE opened its doors in 2010, owner Erik Kugler didn’t just create a shop for bicycles and accessories, he created a destination that celebrates a way of life. The store is now a gathering place – for first-time riders and dyed-in-the-wool cyclists – where the biking community of the District is welcome and thrives in a cycling and supportive culture. In addition to gear shifters and helmets, BicyleSPACE is the home of “The Assembly” a bicycle advocacy coalition committed to promoting cycling and making the District the #1 cycling city in America. Every day, Erik and BicycleSPACE is making the District a little bit more livable, walkable and bikable.
Public Service Award – John Thomas
Take a picture of a typical block in Washington, DC and among the elements that make the photo instantly recognizable as “DC” is the presence of canopy of street trees. Trees, and the cover they provide, make our neighborhoods a great place to walk, bike and live. John Thomas is the Associate Director of DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration and is the District’s chief “tree steward.” Within an agency best known for laying pavement and concrete, John manages a team of arborists to tend to and grow the city’s trees and canopy. The fruits of his labor can be seen in just about any tree box along DC’s streets.
Civic Pride Award – The Yards Park
The civic pride award is a distinct category that recognizes special places that epitomize outstanding civic space and neighborhood pride. The Yards Park, located on the banks of the Anacostia River, is a grand example and one of the city’s top urban destinations. In design and program, the park has no rival and this year’s civic pride award honors the special partnership that has made the park so successful. In collaboration with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Forest City Washington, the Capitol Riverfront BID manages and operates the state-of-the-art park. Whether the waterwall and splash fountains, the River Street Gardens, the Great Lawn or the boardwalk, Yards Park is teeming with activity as the premiere park in Washington, DC.