Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 19. 2013
Sault Ste. Marie Showcased for Community Excellence
City’s Historic Water Street Recognized at Statewide Conference
LANSING, Michigan – The city of Sault Ste. Marie was among 27 communities showcased on April 9 at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition during the League’s 2013 Capital Conference in Lansing.
Sault Ste. Marie’s Historic Water Street project was one of three presentations at the League’s Region 7 Roundtable, which includes all communities in the upper peninsula. The winning entry from Region 7 was Ironwood’s Depot Park project. The other nomination was the village of Ontonagon’s Complete Streets initiative.
The Soo’s streetscape renovations and revitalization have provided a waterfront gathering place for people to relax, exercise, learn and celebrate. The placemaking project includes a new half-mile interpretive walkway stretching from the Soo Locks to the historic homes of some of the community’s most notable founders, said Sault Ste. Marie City Marie City Manager Spencer Nebel.
The walkway features 33 informational panels detailing the area’s rich history, from its beginnings as a Native American village to its establishment as Michigan’s oldest European settlement in 1668. City hall, a recently repurposed historic federal building, is situated on historic grounds at the center of the walkway, providing a premier location for festivals and community gatherings.
“Whether for weekend festivals or leisurely evening walks, Historic Water Street has become a preferred community gathering place,” Nebel said.
The 27 communities participating in this year’s CEA competition are Region 1 (southeast Michigan): Eastpointe, Linden/Fenton/Holly; Grosse Pointe, New Baltimore, Plymouth, Rochester, and Westland; Region 2 (central and southwest Michigan): Albion, Baroda/Bridgman/Berrien Springs, South Haven and St. Joseph; Region 3 (central-west Michigan): Belding and Whitehall; Region 4 (mid-Michigan): DeWitt, Ithaca and Mt. Pleasant; Region 5 (the thumb): Harbor Beach, Imlay City and Lexington; Region 6 (northern portion of the lower peninsula): Rogers City; and Region 7 (upper peninsula): Ironwood, Ontonagon, and Sault Ste. Marie. The winners from each region will now go on to compete for the statewide CEA title during the League’s Annual Convention September 18-20 in Detroit. The seven regional winners are Linden/Fenton/Holly, St. Joseph, Belding, DeWitt, Imlay City, Rogers City, and Ironwood.
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 communities.
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.