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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smart Growth Award Attracts Media Spotlight & Other Positive Buzz for Old North

Since the announcement on Thursday that the revitalization of Old North had won this year’s Overall Excellence in Smart Growth Achievement from EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities, a number of news outlets and various websites and blogs have covered the story.

To see the video about Old North that was prepared for the award ceremony, click HERE.  In addition to Sean Thomas of ONSLRG, the video features comments from Archie Cole, owner of Head Hunters Barber & Beauty Salon; Veronica Holden, neighborhood resident and owner of La Mancha Coffeehouse; Graham Lane, neighborhood resident; and Maria Falconer, owner of Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique.

Local radio stations St. Louis Public Radio and KMOX, aired stories about the award, and a couple of Post-Dispatch columnists (Deb Peterson and Tim Bryant) reported about it on their blogs (although the Post didn’t cover it in their print edition), as did the St. Louis American (which highlighted a congratulatory message from Congressman Lacy Clay).  Meanwhile, the St. Louis Beacon will include the news about the award in a more comprehensive article on the neighborhood, coming soon.

As visitors to ONSLRG’s Facebook page know, the most upbeat statement about Old North getting the Smart Growth Award, however, came from a source well outside the St. Louis area.  Kaid Benfield is one of the nation’s leading advocates for smart growth and someone whose job is to think about these issues related to sustainable development.  As director of the Sustainable Development & Smart Growth Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., Kaid reports on policies, programs, and developments across the country, as well as in other parts of the world.  After attending the awards ceremony in Washington on Thursday, Kaid wrote an article on “The Best Smart Growth Projects in America,” and referred to Old North as “one of the country’s very best revitalizing neighborhoods.”

The article by Kaid Behfield featured a photo of ONSLRG Board President Tino Ochoa and former 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin at the 2010 Old North House Tour.

The article by Kaid Behfield featured a photo of ONSLRG Board President Tino Ochoa and former 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin at the 2010 Old North House Tour.

Noting that his enthusiasm has grown since first learning about Old North a few years ago (from former ONSLRG board president John Burse), Kaid added the following assessment:

“Although Old North was all-too-recently considered by many to be a place to avoid, there is nowhere in the region that this writer would now rather be.”

and…

“We are lucky to have other great revitalization stories in America, but I don’t know a better one.”

For the full story, click HERE.

Thanks again to all who made this award possible, including a long list of outside partners and supporters, the board and staff of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, and most of all, the determined, resilient, and generous residents of Old North who have contributed their time, energy, ideas, and passion over many years.

The Smart Growth Achievement Award recognizes the accomplishments to date and the process that got us here, but by no means does it mean that the job is done.  If you’d like to help us continue the revitalization of Old North, click HERE to make a tax-deductible contribution or click HERE to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 at 4:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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"Smart Growth Award Attracts Media Spotlight & Other Positive Buzz for Old North"

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WHAT'S NEW IN OLD NORTH

Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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