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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15. 2013
Belding Wins Region 3 Community Excellence Award
|Accepting the Region 3 CEA Nomination from the City of Belding is Andrea Belding, mayor pro-tem. For additional photos from the CEA competition go here.|
LANSING, Michigan – The city of Belding earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 3 Community Excellence Award (CEA) winner at the Michigan Municipal League’s 2013 Capital Conference in Lansing on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The region includes all communities in the west-central area of the state’s Lower Peninsula.
The city won for its Belding Community Garden effort. In June of 2010, the “idea seed” was planted to start a community garden in Belding, located in northern Ionia County. The Community Garden Group in affiliation with Belding Area Schools and the city of Belding built the garden in the spring of 2012. The garden is accessible to all residents of the city and surrounding areas. It provides social, educational and nutritional opportunities to those who may not otherwise have access to such a garden. In the first year, the garden had a very successful growing season. Donations and grants to date have exceeded $10,500. Phase 1 of the project opened to gardeners on Memorial Weekend 2012. The garden featured 16 beds, including two handicap accessible beds. The garden had 13 families sign up to work the garden for the year with three sponsoring a bed for their family and one sponsoring a bed for the food pantry. Four families gardened solely for the benefit of the Belding Food Pantry. To date, the Belding Community Garden has donated about eight bushels of fresh produce to the food pantry.
“For us, getting the regional CEA recognition is a validation of a really great project that involves collaboration between our city, schools and residents,” said Andrea Belding, mayor pro tem of Belding and coordinator of the community garden. “We’re really hoping that another community can use what we did in our community as an example and apply it and have the benefits we’ve experienced.”
Belding competed for the Region 3 title against Whitehall’s Bioswales and Trails “green street” reconstruction project. Belding will now go on to compete against the other six regional winners for the statewide CEA at the League’s Annual Convention Sept. 17-20, 2013, in Detroit. The CEA program, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships.
For additional details contact Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League, at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.