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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2011

CONTACT:   Matt Bach
Dir. of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317 or mbach@mml.org

Paw Paw Wins Region 2 Community Excellence Award in League Competition

"Uncork Paw Paw" Now in Running for Statewide Community Excellence Award

 

paw paw

East Lansing Assistant City Manager Marie McKenna presents the Region 2 Community Excellence Award to Paw Paw Village Manager Larry Nielsen for the community’s “Uncork Paw Paw” placemaking campaign.

View and download additional photos from this event here.

East Lansing, MICHIGAN -
A media-savvy placemaking campaign called “Uncork Paw Paw” earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 2 Community Excellence Award winner, at the Region 2 Education Seminar in East Lansing on May 20.

Paw Paw Village Manager Larry Nielsen explained how the community decided to build on its identity as a wine country destination, by launching a market and cluster analysis to identify a target audience, which was then used to devise an effective strategy for promoting the region and its many seasonal events. At the same time, they created a proactive support system for both new entrepreneurship and existing businesses, giving out more than $400,000 in grants in the past three years for everything from education and training to building facade and interior improvements.

The result has been a flourishing of the region’s wine country tourism industry. During the same time period, the Paw Paw community has added 27 new businesses, with another 43 that have been renovated or expanded.

Nielsen said he hoped the program would serve as a do-able example for other communities seeking to build a sense of place based on their own unique assets.
“The recognition by your peers is always nice, but what I’m really excited about is that this is the type of program that many communities can easily do to capitalize on their assets, and find the same great success that we have,” said Nielsen.

Paw Paw competed for the regional title against five other projects: Adrian’s downtown revitalization, Coldwater’s Connections Art Festival, Delhi Charter Township’s green initiatives, Mason’s new municipal building and Tecumseh’s youth engagement program.
“Each project has its own merits so it’s very, very difficult to choose,” said League Board President and Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto. “They are all great examples of what our communities can accomplish.”

Paw Paw will now go on to compete against the other six regional winners for the statewide CEA at the League’s Annual Convention Oct. 4-7 in Grand Rapids.

paw paw brochures



For more information contact, Matt Bach, communications director for the Michigan Municipal League at (734) 669-6317 or mbach@mml.org.

 

The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.


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