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APA Sustainable Communities Division Honors Etna Ecodistrict with National Award

June 16, 2021

The American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) has announced the winners of the eighth annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability. The national awards honor projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting sustainable communities. The winners represent extraordinary achievements in eight Sustainable Planning categories.

evolveEA is delighted to share that the Etna EcoDistrict Plan was selected as the winner in the Community Plan category. Recognized locally and statewide for its innovative approach to sustainable, equitable, and resilient community planning, we are humbled that this grassroots community collaboration is being brought to the national spotlight as a pioneer in sustainable solutions. The winners for the 2021 awards are featured on the Sustainable Communities Division website.

In addition to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, the Etna EcoDistrict Plan has also received honors from the APA Pennsylvania, AIA Pennsylvania, and AIA Pittsburgh chapters, and was the first community in the world to become EcoDistricts Certified (2019).

“The Etna EcoDistrict Plan is a great model for communities that want to achieve climate resiliency and equity through the design of inspiring and beloved places. The plan focuses on the experience of the public realm and proactively addresses environmental systems and infrastructure. The plan communicates the community’s ambitious vision and helps align investment towards common goals.”
— Christine Mondor, FAIA, LEED AP, EcoDistricts AP, Principal at evolveEA

In the months since the community created and adopted the plan and even throughout the pandemic, Etna’s citizens have been hard at work. Recent highlights include the construction of the Etna EcoPark, A site is secured and a contractor was recently selected for the Etna Center for Community/Library, the installation of interactive air quality monitoring stations to inform the community and visualize current air quality conditions. In response to the pandemic, the Etna EcoDistrict has mobilized food distribution to vulnerable residents, hosted virtual events, and expanded a neighbor wellness network. For more updates and information, visit the Etna Community Organization (ECO)’s website. To learn more about the Etna EcoDistrict plan, click here.

The APA SCD winners were recognized at a virtual reception on June 17 at 7:00 PM ET.

About the American Planning Association (APA): APA is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA includes a professional institute for certified planners, 47 chapters, 21 divisions, and special memberships for students. Find out more about APA at https://www.planning.org/.

About the APA Sustainable Communities Division: The Sustainable Communities Division provides resources, information, and best practices to support planners in creating sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities. Through its forums for dialogue, collaboration, advocacy, and professional development, the SCD engages planners in innovatively addressing the evolving ecological, social, and economic factors that shape our communities. More about the Division can be found at apascd.com and planning.org/divisions/sustainable/.

Evolve EA