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2014 Neighborhoods Conference - Recognition Award Winners Announced!

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The 2014 Annual Neighborhoods Conference held on March 15, 2014 was a great success! Held at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus, there were more than a dozen workshops filled with neighbors and community leaders learning how to plant the seeds of community. More than 360 people attended the Awards Luncheon, celebrating the winners of the 11th Annual Neighborhood Recognition Awards. See highlights from this year's Neighborhoods Conference in the video below.

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The Neighborhoods Recognition Awards provide the neighborhoods in Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace an opportunity to celebrate their community by nominating special events, projects and special programs that have occurred during the prior year. The awards given at the 11th Annual Neighborhoods Conference were for events that occurred in 2013. 

The following community's were chosen as the winners: 

2014 Best Beautification Project 

Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association 

  • Creatively replacing old windows in a 100-year old, brick, former church building was a community-wide effort that produced a fantastic result for Tampa Heights. 
  • After boarding up and selling the old stained glass windows, residents voted to select their favorite among three colorful renderings by artist Angela Cannata.
  • Young members of the community then painted the designs on specially treated wood. These works of community art now fill the window frames with a distinctly modern, practical and beautiful update to the original glass.
  • The project was captured in time lapse video and has been extremely well received by the neighbors and the media.
  • Hillsborough County is proud to honor the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association for enhancing the beauty of its community. 

2014 Best Neighborhood Watch 

Fountainview Neighborhood Watch 

  • Safety and security are the hallmarks of feeling at home, and the 85-member Fountainview Neighborhood Watch volunteer team works together seven days a week to increase safety.
  • The team is specially trained to identify and handle situations they might encounter, and keep locked areas secure. This program is 20 years strong!
  • Safety begins at the entrance to the neighborhood, where patrol members staff the gatehouse in the evening. A bar code entry system is being installed to add automatic safety precautions.
  • The Fountainview Neighborhood Watch works with the Sheriff's office and the community administration, successfully decreasing crime last year. The watch was named a crime prevention winner at the 2012 Florida Communities Conference.
  • Congratulations to the Fountainview Neighborhood Watch for its commitment to increasing safety in their community. 

2014 Best Environmental Program/ Project 

Bloomingdale Homeowners Association (large division, 4,001+ homes) 

  • The most visible sign of neighborly commitment is often a well-kept yard. A green thumb can make a neighborhood into a community.
  • For the past 10 years, the Yard of the Month program in Bloomingdale has encouraged property maintenance by highlighting the impact of a beautiful front lawn for the entire area.
  • The Yard of the Month program is collaboration between the Homeowners Association and local businesses, and serves as a frequent visual reminder of the benefits of Homeowners Association membership.
  • Each month, the winner is honored with a yard sign, a gift card to ACE hardware and a photo of their yard published in the community newspaper.
  • Hillsborough County is pleased to celebrate the work of the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association to honor residents for making their neighborhood a more beautiful place to live. 

East Lake Park Civic Association (small division, 400 or less homes) 

  • Resident education and engagement to limit the impacts of human activity on Tampa Bay waterways makes East Lake Homeowners Association a valuable partner in maintaining environmental health for both humans and wildlife.
  • Using funds granted by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the Association held workshops to educate residents on native plants and stormwater regulations.
  • More than 100 volunteers, guided by the association, planted thousands of aquatic plants and 20 bald cypress trees to filter more than 28% of the total volume of stormwater entering East Lake.
  • To provide ongoing pollution prevention, the association distributed informational material, installed storm drain markers and anti-pollution signs, and created stations for pet waste and smokers.
  • Hillsborough County is proud to honor the important work of the East Lake Homeowners Association in promoting a healthy environment. 

2014 Best Communications 

Bloomingdale Homeowners Association (large division, 4,001+ homes) 

  • Communication is critical to any organization’s success. The success of the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association is due in large part to its premier publication, The Bloomingdale Gazette.
  • The Bloomingdale Gazette is delivered monthly to 5,200 homes, reaching more than 23,000 residents.
  • Published since 1980, the paper received a complete make-over and new publisher in October 2013. It is now a 28-page color production with eye-catching graphics and important news.
  • The editor, Suzanne Jones, has assembled a talented group of reporters; both paid and volunteer to cover the association’s work. The newspaper publicizes and encourages the work being done to keep the neighborhood a great place, to live, work and call home.
  • Congratulations to the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association for informing and connecting together neighbors with the Gazette. 

Ridgewood Park Civic Association (small division, 400 or less homes) 

  • Ridgewood Park is a historic neighborhood situated on the Hillsborough River in the midst of exciting redevelopment to re-purpose historic properties and parks for a modern lifestyle.
  • With so much going on, their newsletter is a great benefit to residents who want to know about entertainment, shopping and what they can expect for the future as the older buildings undergo transformation.
  • The publication serves many needs in a short, readable format that provides important planning and contact information.
  • It also provides low-cost advertising to local businesses wanting to reach and serve their closest customers.
  • Hillsborough County is pleased to honor the Ridgewood Park Civic Association for providing information and support to residents and businesses. 

2014 Most Successful Special Event 

Bahia Lakes Homeowners Association (large category, 4,001+ homes) 

  • Community members of all ages came together at Bahia Lakes to decorate the Christmas tree in the common area at the pool cabana last Christmas.
  • Celebrating the holiday season began with the young residents gathering to decorate ornaments with stickers, ribbon, paint and glitter. There are many artists in the making in this neighborhood!
  • The ornament making gave children a chance to socialize with the other youngsters in the area, and fostered a sense of ownership.
  • Later, the adult members of the community gathered with the children to place the handmade ornaments and light the tree, and refreshments were served.
  • Attendees were all smiles as they enjoyed getting to know their neighbors better, delighting in the creativity of the kids and showing pride in their community.
  • We congratulate the Bahia Lakes Homeowners Association for fostering relationships among neighbors in such a creative and festive way. 

Twelve Oaks Civic Association (small division category, 400 or less homes) 

  • A community picnic is a great way to get re-acquainted with neighbors and welcome new residents. The community of Twelve Oaks celebrated its 40th anniversary last spring with a BBQ picnic sponsored by the Twelve Oaks Civic Association.
  • It was a day for residents to relax and enjoy good Bar-B-Q, listen to live music, and have some fun! 
  • The Twelve Oaks Civic Association provided food, desserts, paper goods, and beverages. The picnic was catered by a local restaurant and was FREE to all association members. Nonmembers were also welcome to attend.
  • Hillsborough County is proud to honor Twelve Oaks Civic Association for supporting neighborly connection among its residents. 

2014 Most Successful Youth Program 

Greater Palm River Community Development Corporation 

  • Parents are the most powerful and permanent force in children’s lives. When parents are involved in a child’s education, at home and at school, school performance improves. 
  • Working in partnership with elementary schools to encourage involvement, the Go-4-Kids Club provides parents the skills they need to ensure their child’s success in school today and for the future. Since 2007, the club has helped more than 200 families develop school-readiness. 
  • Club members commit to volunteer, attend parent /teacher meetings and monitor report cards. In exchange, they receive many benefits such as free after-school tutoring for their child, access to family support services, as well as field trips and workshops. 
  • The community created a mural together and has developed a strong sense of pride by learning fine art photography, which was used to create life books. 
  • We congratulate the Go-4-Kids club for its positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children and their families.

2014 Come Back Kid Award 

Tudor Cay Association 

  • After many capital improvement projects had been neglected, the Tudor Cay Association leadership put in time and hard work to make sure that progress was made to improve their community. 
  • This association has worked diligently over the last two years to improve their neighborhood’s quality of life. 
  • Thanks to the hard work of the Association, the neighborhood has seen major improvements to structures and landscaping. Many more projects are ahead. 
  • After their work is complete, this community will be a beautiful, vibrant waterfront neighborhood that the residents can once again be proud to call home. 
  • Hillsborough County honors the Tudor Cay Association for its hard work to improve quality of life for its members and neighbors.


THE CONFERENCE 
Each year, Hillsborough County offers brings together neighborhoods leaders, county officials and the business community for free educational workshops, exhibits and more in an effort to make our communities better. Home Owner Association (HOA) members can even get certification training at the conference now required by law, 720.3033(1), of Chapter 720, Florida Statues. Neighborhood leaders countywide are invited to nominate programs, projects and events that they have worked on during the past 12 months for the Recognition Awards. The purpose of the program is to recognize and encourage neighborhoods that have been active in civic affairs and worked collectively to improve and enrich their communities and the lives of their residents.

THE AWARD

Neighborhood leaders countywide are invited to nominate programs, projects and events that they have worked on during the past 12 months. The purpose of the program is to recognize and encourage neighborhoods that have been active in civic affairs and worked collectively to improve and enrich their communities and the lives of their residents.

ELIGIBILITY
Nominee or Applicant must be a neighborhood, homeowner, civic association or crime watch group within Hillsborough County.

NOMINATION CATEGORIES

Two awards will be given in six of the categories, one for associations of 400 households or less and another for associations with more than 400 households. Only the Youth Program and Umbrella categories will vary. There will be a Youth award for the best program for children 12 and under and one for teens. Only one award will be given in the Umbrella category. The nomination categories are as follows:

Best Beautification Project Best Neighborhood Watch/Crime Prevention Program/Project

  • Best Environmental Program/Project
  • Best Communications -Newsletter/Website
  • Most Successful Special Event
  • Most Successful Youth Program
  • New — Disaster Preparedness at the Neighborhood Level & CERT
    Protecting lives and property, as well as your neighborhood pre and post emergency.
  • New  "Come Back Kid" 
    Recognizing boards and suppliers who developed and implemented successful turnaround programs by revitalizing distressed neighborhood.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Please provide an overview of the program/project and the neighborhood being nominated. Materials that will enhance the nomination may be submitted in support of the application. If you need additional space, feel free to attach a maximum of three subsequent pages. Applications and supporting material must be submitted on 8½ x 11 white paper. Submit four copies of the award application and supporting material. If you send the application by email or fax, submit one copy of the application and supporting materials.

RECOGNITION

Winners will be announced at the Hillsborough County Neighborhoods Conference luncheon to be held at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Conference attendance is mandatory for awardees.

If you have any questions, call Hillsborough County Neighborhood Relations (813) 272-5860.