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EPA Announces Commitment and Achievement Awards to Recognize Community Development and Active Aging

Release Date: 05/24/2007
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - May 24, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for the Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging awards. The awards recognize outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging.

EPA presents the awards to communities that demonstrate the best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing smart growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe, municipality, county, and/or regional levels.

Two types of awards will be made -- the Commitment Award and the Achievement Award. The Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific plan to implement smart growth and active aging principles. The Achievement Award will be given for overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

Active aging refers to maintaining regular physical activity after age 50. Communities can promote active aging by implementing an array of accessible physical-activity programs, and helping to make more accessible self-directed physical-activity opportunities for those 50 years and older.

Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving open spaces and parkland and protecting critical habitat; improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, and transit, which reduce automobile emissions; promoting brownfield redevelopment; and reducing impervious surfaces, which improves water quality.

Applicants must be public-sector entities in the United States and coordinate with their local Area Agency on Aging. Public-sector entities include all levels of elected governments, from city councils to state legislatures and their subdivisions such as planning departments and other executive branch divisions.

Application, award guidelines and entry rules:

Applications are due Oct. 17, 2007. Winners will be announced at the 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities Conference in Washington, D.C., February 2008.