Over the years, 1000 Friends of Florida has been pleased to honor the following individuals, organizations, communities and agencies for their work to build better communities and save special places across Florida.
Bill Sadowski Award
Lee Constantine — Seminole County Commissioner and former Florida State Senator and Representative Lee Constantine was honored for his leadership, vision, and on-going commitment to conservation and water resource protection in Florida.” The award was presented at the February 25 meeting of the Seminole County Commission.
Bill Sadowski Award
Senator Bob Graham — 1000 Friends of Florida board member emeritus and former Board Chairman Lester Abberger presented Senator Bob Graham with the organization’s prestigious Bill Sadowski Award at a reception held in Tallahassee on September 27, 2013. Senator Graham was recognized “for his leadership, vision, and on-going commitment to conservation and sound planning in Florida.”
Better Community Award
Oak Ridge Estates, Tarpon Springs — Located in the Union Academy Neighborhood within walking distance of downtown Tarpon Springs, Oak Ridge Estates received1000 provides an outstanding model for communities seeking to promote infill affordable housing in older and historic neighborhoods. It meets a critical community need in an architecturally compatible and sustainable manner.
Community Steward Awards
Gary Maidhof, Citrus County — The late Gary Maidhof spent over 30 years with Citrus County and was instrumental in development of the County’s comprehensive plan, The Manatee Element, local spring’s protection amendments, best management practices for water protection, the tree ordinance, and more.
City of Pompano Beach — The city and its utility department were recognized for their progressive efforts to conserve water through reuse. Pompano Beach has been using reuse water for irrigation for 24 years, conserving over 10 billion gallons of water from the Biscayne Aquifer, and helping to reverse saltwater encroachment and protect the aquifer.
Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Consortium — Thanks to a strong and effective partnership of 20 local organizations, Lake Worth successfully leveraged federal, private and local funding and programs to rehabilitate and construct more than 130 properties in its target redevelopment area in an affordable, sustainable manner.
Bill Sadowski Award
Col. Alfred A. Pantano, Jr. – 1000 Friends of Florida founder and Chairman Emeritus Nathaniel Reed presented Col. Alfred A. Pantano, Jr., with the organization’s prestigious Bill Sadowski Award at the 27th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference, held in Stuart in January 2012. Pantano was recognized for his “outstanding and distinguished service to the state of Florida and the Everglades and its restoration.”
Better Community Award
Pasco County – Pasco County was honored for adopting an innovative mobility fee system to pay for new roads, sidewalks and transit. Pasco County has taken important steps to direct growth away from undeveloped areas and toward urban centers while providing its citizens with more transportation options. The new system also gives the county more flexibility in how it spends transportation money in the county.
Encore! – Encore is an exemplary mixed use redevelopment district featuring transit oriented design. Fostered by a public-private partnership between the Banc of America Community Development Corporation and the Housing Authority of the City of Tampa, Encore provides an outstanding example of sustainable infill development. The award was presented at the Urban Land Institute Florida Statewide Summit in St. Petersburg.
Alachua County – Alachua County was recognized for adopting and implementing an innovative plan and implementing ordinances to promote multimodal transportation and sustainable patterns of development. Alachua County is taking important steps to provide a wider range of transportation options for its residents.
Better Community Awards
“Viridian” in the City of St. Petersburg – A 188-unit apartment building in downtown St. Petersburg, Viridian was recognized as an outstanding example of energy-efficient redevelopment that retains affordable housing for seniors and the disabled in a prime downtown location.
Town of Yankeetown – The Town of Yankeetown in Levy County was honored at a community picnic for its use of comprehensive and other planning tools to protect the community’s unique coastal small town character and scenic natural beauty. Yankeetown has adopted an outstanding plan to protect its many amenities, and has given citizens a strong role in approving changes to the plan and local development.
Gadsden County – Gadsden County received 1000 Friends of Florida’s Better Community Award for its passage of the Citizens Growth Management and Planning Bill of Rights (ordinance #2010-05), which provides citizens with enhanced opportunities to participate in the local planning process. Gadsden County has given its residents a more meaningful role in shaping the future of their community.
Community Steward Award
Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard – Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard received 1000 Friends of Florida’s 2011 Community Steward Award at the December 13 meeting of the Commission. Commissioner Heard was honored for her strong advocacy and leadership on maintaining the integrity of the Martin County comprehensive plan.
Bill Sadowski Award
Tom Pelham – Florida Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham received his award at the Florida Chamber’s 26th Annual Growth Management, Climate Change and the Environment Short Course. Pelham received the award for his decades of visionary leadership promoting growth management, sustainable development, and protected rural and natural lands in Florida.
Better Community Award
City of Coconut Creek – 1000 Friends recognized the City of Coconut Creek in Broward County for its sustainable community planning efforts to promote infill development, affordable housing, and natural resource conservation in a traditional bedroom community. Coconut Creek provides an outstanding model for other Florida communities seeking to grow in a more sustainable manner.
Villa Aurora – A $28.8 million mixed use development in Miami’s Little Havana, Villa Aurora includes supportive housing for the formerly homeless, affordable housing, offices, and a public Hispanic Branch Library. Recognized for their roles in the project were Carrfour Supportive Housing, the Miami-Dade County Commission, the Miami-Dade County Department of Homeless Trust, and the Miami-Dade Public Library System. Villa Aurora is the first such development with public uses east of the Mississippi, and the only one with a mix of affordable housing, including supportive housing for the formerly homeless.
Community Steward Award
Miami-Dade County – Mayor Carlos Alvarez accepted the award for the County’s Area Plan Process. Established in 1999, the Area Plan Process promotes mixed use development, transit and pedestrian mobility, and increased densities at strategic locations. This visionary process has resulted in innovative community design and outstanding on-the-ground results.
Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority – The Authority was honored as a model of intergovernmental coordination to address regional water issues. The Authority is independent special district created by interlocal agreement in 1982 between Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties. In an era of growing “water wars,” it focuses on non-mandated regional cooperation to provide a sustainable water supply for the four counties.
Susan Woods and Lynn Reico – Marion County residents Susan Woods and Lynn Reico were honored for their successful grassroots appeal of an inappropriate comprehensive plan amendment in Marion County. Susan and Lynn have proven that citizens can make a difference in Florida’s growth management process. Despite heavy pressure from development interests, the Governor and Cabinet unanimously voted 4-0 to support their appeal.
Better Community Award
SoDo – Once the site of a former strip mall and industrial block, Orlando’s “SoDo” has been redeveloped following the principles of smart growth and sustainable urbanism. 1000 Friends recognized Kimco Realty Corporation for SoDo, which provides an innovative and workable model for quality mixed use, infill development in a downtown area. within easy walking distance of an existing neighborhood.
Community Steward Award
Lee County Commission – The Commission was honored for its accomplishments in protecting the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource area in southeastern Lee County. The Commission developed a proactive plan for the DR/GR before the eight pending mine applications were considered. The Commission was commended for its proactive efforts to protect this important regional water source.
Smart Growth Coalition of North Central Florida – The Coalition received its award at the community forum, Florida’s Water Wars Come to the Withlacoochee and Rainbow Rivers. The Smart Growth Coalition was honored for its visionary leadership on springs protection and smart growth issues facing North Central Florida.
Chad Taylor – Chad Taylor was honored at a meeting of the Jackson Blue Spring Basin Working Group. A land manager of farm and forestland, a conservationist and engaged citizen, Chad has been the catalyst for many major planning projects in Jackson County, the largest peanut-producing county in Florida, and home to more springs than any other county in the region.
Better Community Award
Golfair Estates – This new 15-unit affordable housing subdivision spearheaded by the Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation (NJCDC), provides a model for how to integrate affordable housing into an existing community. The NJCDC worked with area residents to develop and then assist with implementation of the 29th and Chase Neighborhood Action Plan that was adopted by the Jacksonville City Council.
Volusia Forever – A taxpayer-approved, twenty-year ad valorem tax funded program, Volusia Forever targets the acquisition and improvement of environmentally sensitive, water resource protection, and outdoor recreation lands. The Volusia Conservation Corridor, approximately 55,000 acres of land in the middle of the county, which provides a model for long-range planning to protect a region’s significant natural resources and wildlife habitat linkages.
Genius Reserve – The approach taken for the restoration of the Genius Reserve in Winter Park offers a model for community education and action. Rollins College faculty worked with the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation to develop a management plan for the Genius Reserve, a largely undeveloped 48-acre site near its campus. The outcome was a management plan to provide “working laboratory in ecological restoration.”
Community Steward Award
The Villagers – This all-volunteer non-profit preservation organization in Miami-Dade County, was honored at the historic Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables. With its emphasis on “recycling” old buildings, historic preservation is the ultimate ‘smart growth’ tool. The Villagers has contributed to the preservation of some of Miami-Dade County’s most significant historic resources.
Citizens for Responsible Growth – This Alachua County advocacy group was recognized for its dedicated citizen activism. It formed in response to the SpringHills DRI, sponsoring community forums, promoting the issue in the print and broadcast media, and using outreach to generate awareness. In a few short years, CRG has become respected for its public education and advocacy efforts on critical community planning issues facing Alachua County.
1000 Friends presented Community Steward Awards to John Wheeler of Lake City on June 13, Eleanor Godwin of Pensacola on June 18,Guy Marwick of Marion County on September 21 and Dennis Henize of the Florida Keys on September 23. The City of Lake Helen received the Better Community Award on September 25. The Tallahassee Democrat received the Al Burt Award on October 2, and Bill Belleville of Sanford received the Al Burt Award on October 4.
1000 Friends presented Community Steward Awards to Bob and Sharon Blanchard and Jennifer L. Seney of Pasco County on August 8, and to Beaches Watch in Duval County on August 17. The Better Community Award was presented to the Florida Public Officials Design Institute on November 2, and the Bill Sadowski Award went to Jono Miller of Sarasota County on November 4.
1000 Friends presented its Community Steward Award to the Northwood Renaissance Community Development Corporation in West Palm Beach on June 18, to the Miami River Commission on July 11, and to Apalachicola Riverkeepers on September 17. The Collier County Rural Lands Stewardship Program received the 2005 Better Community Award on June 14.
Bill Sadowski Leadership Award—Jerry A. Scarborough, Live Oak
Jerry Scarborough’s visionary leadership has resulted in exemplary regional land conservation efforts along the scenic Suwannee River. The Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) since 1990, Scarborough has worked with federal, state, local and private partners to launch a variety of initiatives to protect sensitive lands and promote compatible economic development. His efforts helped to establish the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and six smaller greenway projects and create Florida’s first Private Landowners Initiative to provide cost-share to private landowners to enhance or improve natural resources on their land. He was instrumental in launching the Suwannee River Partnership to improve water quality through voluntary, incentive-based agricultural best management practices, and helped gain the participation of more than 80 percent of the region’s dairy and poultry operations. Under Scarborough, the SRWMD has acquired more than 172,000 acres of land, obtained conservation easements on an additional 150,000 acres, and assisted local governments with acquiring close to 7,000 acres. Scarborough’s inspirational leadership has resulted in the enhancement and protection of some of the finest lands in this beautiful part of the state, and “his many accomplishments will benefit the residents of this region for generations to come,” said 1000 Friends’ Executive Director Charles Pattison.
Carl Feiss Young Planner Award—Lavon B. Williams, Orange County
Lavon B. Williams’s outstanding accomplishments in planning and administration have contributed to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout Orange County. A 1997 graduate of Florida State University with master’s degrees in urban and regional planning and public administration, Williams now serves as manager of the Orange County Neighborhood Services Division. In that capacity, she oversees the Residents and Neighborhoods Empowered to Win (ReNew) Initiative and the Safe Neighborhoods Program. Among the positive changes these programs have brought to the area are 4 new community parks, 5 lake improvements, 11 neighborhood cleanups, 42 lot clearings, 55 neighborhood grant awards, and 1,833 tree plantings. Through the Neighborhoods 21 program, Williams has assisted with the creation of 25 neighborhood organizations. This year she will launch the Citizen Planner Academy to provide workshops and training to residents on how development and growth management affect their neighborhoods. In his nomination, FSU Planning Department Chair Charles E. Connerly wrote that Williams “exemplifies the achievement, integrity, and promise that 1000 Friends of Florida seeks in awarding the Carl Feiss Award.” On behalf of 1000 Friends, Pattison agreed wholeheartedly, noting that “In a few short years, Williams has amassed an impressive track record of accomplishments in the challenging arena of neighborhood revitalization.”
Community Steward Award–Hometown Hero—Valerie Britt, Jacksonville
Valerie Britt received 1000 Friends’ Community Steward Award for her indefatigable advocacy on behalf of the residents and neighborhoods of Jacksonville and Duval County. Over the years, she has worked with countless citizen and neighborhood groups on issues related to transportation, growth management, community redevelopment, environment, school and airports. Wrote Marian L. Beaman, President of the Killarney Shores Civic Association, of Britt, “Her knowledge, insight, persistence, and endurance are unmatched. She is probably the most avid neighborhood advocate in our city at the moment.” Britt worked closely with Killarney Shores on comprehensive plan issues related to a proposed Wal-Mart. Co-nominator Linda Tattersall, cited Britt’s extensive assistance with using existing comprehensive plan policies to halt a rezoning in her Firestone/Ridgeway Neighborhood. Both praised Britt’s willingness to spend untold hours educating citizens in their neighborhoods about how the local planning process worked. In her capacity as an officer of the Greater Arlington Civic Association, Britt has coordinated a variety of community workshops on planning. In addition, she has created Citizen Consulting for Land Use and Zoning, Inc. and provides pro bono services to area neighborhood groups. Pattison agreed that “the residents of Jacksonville have a very talented and knowledgeable citizen planner advocating on their behalf.”
Community Steward Award–Hometown Hero—Karen Shidel, Jensen Beach
Karen Shidel received the Community Steward Award for her unwavering support for the principles of sound planning in Martin County. Karen and Paul Shidel bought a lot in the Pinecrest Lakes neighborhood in 1986, built a home, and raised their two sons there. In 1995, the developer sought and the county authorized changing the site plan for a 21-acre strip of abutting land from 29 single family homes to 136 rental units in 19 two-story, multifamily buildings. Ms. Shidel brought suit against the county, claiming the change was inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan provisions requiring new development to be consistent with existing development. While the case was pending, the developer proceeded with construction, and in 1999, the Circuit Court ordered the developer to demolish the multi-million dollar apartment complex. This decision was upheld by the Fourth District Court of Appeals in 2001, and by the Florida Supreme Court in 2002, resulting in the demolition of the complex. The courts noted that Florida law was “a command to cities and counties that they must comply with their own comprehensive plans.” Noted Pattison, “As a result of the determination of this one ordinary citizen, Florida courts have issued a landmark ruling in support of growth management that has statewide ramifications.”
Community Steward Award–Public Servant—Nancy Higgs, Commissioner, Brevard County
Nancy Higgs received the Community Steward Award for her dedicated leadership on natural resource protection and smart growth in Brevard County. Twenty years ago, as President of the Mullet Creek Preservation Society, she was instrumental in preserving the 176-acre Mullet Creek Islands. She also formed a political action committee to support a successful 1984 referendum for the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands. She later served on a planning committee which recommended a significant reduction in residential density and commercialization of Brevard’s South Beaches. Since 1992, as a County Commissioner, she has continued as a strong smart growth advocate. She led the move for an interlocal agreement with the School Board and the application of school overcrowding as a criterion for zoning, and has supported increased impact and other development fees to pay for growth. She has initiated improved development standards for low and poorly drained areas, landscaping and land clearing regulations, provisions to remove exotic plant species and protect endangered species, and a nationally recognized tower ordinance to protect birds. In nominating Higgs, area resident Howard Wolf noted, “Whether it’s supporting voter approval for initiatives for improving services, or advocating lower densities in rural areas, or demanding that public transportation dollars do not fund further sprawl, Nancy’s public career is the model for smart growth.”
Community Steward Award–Public Servant—Paul Novack, Mayor, Town of Surfside
Paul Novack received the Community Steward Award for his steadfast advocacy for effective growth management in Surfside. In 1992, Surfside residents overwhelmingly supported a referendum to prevent a twenty-story beachfront condominium. For more than a decade since then, Novack has served as mayor of this small Dade County community for the grand fee of one dollar per year. Throughout his tenure, Novack and the town’s commissioners have consistently denied any requests for height and density variances, maintaining heights at twelve stories east of Collins Avenue, and five stories to the west. Nominator Charlotte Greenbarg wrote that, thanks to Mayor Novack, “the town’s zoning code has been consistently, fairly and effectively enforced.” Besides that, Novack has maintained a balanced budget without raising property taxes, there is a one-minute emergency police response time, and garbage is picked up six days a week for a nominal fee. During the selection process, 1000 Friends was impressed with Mayor Novack’s steadfast determination to uphold the planning and development standards needed to maintain Surfside’s distinctive character and scale, noted Pattison. “With his dynamic leadership abilities, commitment to sound planning, and concern for the residents of Surfside, Mayor Novack exemplifies the qualities of a true community steward.”
In addition to these award recipients, 1000 Friends also recognized outgoing board members Carol Rist of Miami and Earl Starnes of Alachua for their outstanding leadership on environmental and planning issues facing this state, and outgoing president C. Allen Watts of Daytona Beach for his leadership of 1000 Friends from 2000 to 2002.
Bill Sadowski Award–Nathaniel P. Reed
Nathaniel P. Reed of Hobe Sound received the Bill Sadowski Award, given to a public servant at the state or regional level whose work exemplifies the high level of commitment to growth management and the philosophy of negotiation for which the late DCA Secretary was known. “Reed is an avid conservationist, sportsman, and defender of Florida’s special places.” said 1000 Friends President Allen Watts. “We are proud to recognize him for his many decades of dedicated service at the state and national levels.” Reed has served as a former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, as a chair of numerous important state and regional boards and agencies, and as a leader of prominent national non-profits. His special passions have included the protection and restoration of the Everglades, and better managing the consequences of this state’s population growth. Reed was instrumental in establishing 1000 Friends of Florida, a statewide nonprofit membership organization which advocates for responsible growth management, and has provided sound leadership and counsel to that organization since its inception in 1986. He continues to serve as its Chairman Emeritus. Attorney General Bob Butterworth also presented a resolution from the Governor and Cabinet recognizing Reed’s many contributions.
Successful Community Award–City of St. Petersburg
The City of St. Petersburg received 1000 Friends’ Successful Community Award for its strong history of visionary leadership resulting in the successful revitalization of its downtown area. This award recognizes a community that shows extraordinary effort to create a special place to live. According to Watts, the transformation in downtown St. Petersburg over the last few years is remarkable. “The City has done an outstanding job of bringing a wide range of interests together to create a livable and exciting downtown experience.” Beginning in the early 1980s, the City began to partner with the business community to better promote redevelopment activities. Two decades later, the results of this partnership are tangible. Waterfront parks, museums, upscale and rental housing, new offices, shops and hotels, restored and new hotels, medical facilities, major league baseball, and the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida all contribute to the downtown’s vitality. More than $1 billion has been invested in these projects, and an estimated 8 million people visit downtown each year to enjoy its amenities. Throughout this effort, St. Petersburg has succeeded in maintaining its pedestrian scale, and has restored numerous historic landmarks in the process. Through such efforts as Vision 2020, the City continues to bring residents, business leaders and government officials together to further build upon this successful renaissance.
Community Steward Award–Citizens for Tree Preservation, Inc. and The Petitioners’ Committee
Citizens for Tree Preservation, Inc. and The Petitioners’ Committee were recognized for their inspirational grassroots activism to secure passage of a stronger tree protection ordinance for Jacksonville-Duval County. Concerned about the lack of effective measures to protect trees in that the rapidly-urbanizing community, in February of 2000 the two groups launched an inspirational grassroots campaign to place a tree-protection initiative on the ballot in November of that same year. They established an outstanding and highly visible outreach campaign, holding petition signings in prominent locations, giving presentations to innumerable organizations throughout the community to educate them on the issues, developing an informative web site, and securing extensive positive media coverage. Needing about 21,000 signatures, they succeeded in collecting more than 30,000. In the process, they secured the support of many citizen advisory committees, neighborhood and civic associations, and other organizations. The measure passed overwhelmingly. It carried all 268 precincts, with over 75 percent of the voters supporting the initiative. As a result, the community’s charter now has minimum standards, protecting trees three feet or larger in diameter. “Citizens for Tree Preservation and The Petitioners’ Committee provide an outstanding model for effective grassroots advocacy,” according to Pattison. “Thanks to the vision and effective guidance of John Crescimbeni, Bill Brinton, and numerous other community leaders, Jacksonville and Duval County are ensured a greener future.”
Community Steward Award–The Honorable Doug Coward, St. Lucie County Commission
The Honorable Doug Coward, Chairman of the St. Lucie County Commission, received a Community Steward Award for his on-going leadership in promoting smarter growth and protecting the environment in St. Lucie County. Joining the Commission in 1998, Coward has quickly established himself as a leader in encouraging smart growth in this rapidly-growing corner of the state. He has worked diligently to bring together members of the development community, conservation groups, and others to forge a common, sustainable vision for the future of St. Lucie County. Coward has sponsored smart growth symposia and a community design charrette to create a greenway and trail master plan. He has brought about meaningful change in the County’s Comprehensive Plan, including incorporating the greenway plan, and removing incentives for sprawling development. He has worked to set aside thousands of acres of environmentally-sensitive lands. To promote more compact, mixed use development, he spearheaded the establishment of a Community Redevelopment Agency in Port St. Lucie, and played a key role in the development of the Martin/St. Lucie County Regional Land Use Study. Pattison notes that Coward has been a longstanding supporter of smart growth and sustainability. “We are pleased to recognize his many efforts to promote quality growth and compatible economic development.”
Al Burt Journalism Award–Bruce Ritchie, Tallahassee Democrat
Bruce Ritchie, a staff reporter with the Tallahassee Democrat, received the Al Burt Journalism Award for his insightful coverage of growth, development and environmental issues facing the Tallahassee region and the rest of Florida. The noted Al Burt presented this award, which recognizes a member of the media who does an outstanding job of keeping the issues affecting Florida’s future in the public eye. During his tenure with the Democrat, Ritchie has done an outstanding job of keeping readers in the Big Bend area informed about issues of local, regional and state importance. He has diligently covered the actions of the Florida Legislature regarding state growth management measures, reported on local decisions with growth management implications, and completed an exhaustive series on the “water wars” being waged between Florida, Alabama and Georgia over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. Ritchie received a prestigious Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997-1998. Prior to that, he was an award-winning environmental reporter for the Gainesville Sun. “Ritchie always provides a balanced, well-researched perspective on the critical issues facing this region and state,” said Pattison. “We are pleased to recognize him for his insightful coverage relating to growth management.”
Special Friend Award–Terrell K. Arline, Esq.
Terrell K. Arline, Esq. was presented with the Special Friend Award for his dedicated legal advocacy on behalf of 1000 Friends and the people of Florida. Arline served as 1000 Friends’ Legal Director from 1996 until early 2002, and is now entering private practice. Said Pattison, “His departure is a tremendous loss for 1000 Friends, but we know he will continue to represent the best interests of the people of Florida in his new capacity.” At 1000 Friends, Arline provided citizens and groups around the state with advice on implementing the local comprehensive plan process, and networked with private attorneys and planners to provide professional representation to these individuals and groups. He also worked with the Board’s legal advocacy committee to monitor and participate in administrative, judicial and appellate proceedings involving growth management. While Legal Director, he championed over two dozen major administrative and appellate cases that have statewide significance. He supported the rights of citizens to sue to enforce comprehensive plans, expanded the legal requirements for agencies to consider secondary impacts of development on the environment, and fought against regressive private property rights initiatives. According to Watts, “Terrell leaves a legal legacy as a public interest lawyer that few will surpass.”
Additionally, 1000 Friends recognized Dr. Lenore McCullagh of Orange Park. McCullagh served on the board of 1000 Friends from 1987 until 2001, providing outstanding leadership on environmental issues facing this state.
Bill Sadowski Award — Dr. John M. DeGrove
Dr. John M. DeGrove has devoted his career to helping Florida “grow smarter.” Known as “the father of growth management” in Florida, DeGrove is recognized nationally for his expertise in the fields of planning and public administration. As the Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs from 1982 until 1985, under then-Governor Bob Graham, he was instrumental in the conception and passage of Florida’s landmark Growth Management Act. Recognizing the need for impartial outside oversight, he helped found 1000 Friends of Florida in 1986. Now, having served in a leadership capacity for much of the organization’s history, he is President Emeritus. From 1972 until 1998, as the founding director of the FAU/FIU Joint Center for Environmental and Urban Problems, his insights helped to shed light on this state’s many growth management challenges. He was the first holder of the John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair in Growth Management and Development at Florida Atlantic University. A fifth generation Floridian, DeGrove has a deep and abiding love for this state, its environment and its people. 1000 Friends President Allen Watts noted, “In his long and distinguished career in the state university system, state government, and as advisor to numerous other states, John DeGrove has left a lasting imprint. His visionary leadership has brought fundamental positive change to the way communities and states across the nation plan for growth.”
In addition to the award presented by 1000 Friends, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth presented DeGrove with a resolution from the Governor and Cabinet honoring him for his decades of leadership in the arena of growth management.
Al Burt Award — Florida Trend
Florida Trend was this year’s recipient of the Al Burt Award, named in honor of the well-known author who spent much of his career as a roving columnist for the Miami Herald. Lynda Keever, Publisher and CEO, and Mark Howard, Executive Editor, received the award from Al Burt on behalf of the magazine. Florida Trend was recognized for its long tradition of quality, insightful coverage of growth, development and environmental issues that will shape the face of Florida for generations to come. Since its founding in 1958, Florida Trend has recognized the tremendous impacts of population growth and related development on this state’s economy, environment and quality of life. It has devoted considerable coverage to these issues, helping to inform this state’s leaders and shape public policy. Its recent article by Cynthia Barnett and Mary Ellen Klas, Managing Growth: 10 Steps Toward a More Livable Florida, is but one of many examples of how Florida Trend keeps its finger on the pulse of Florida and provides balanced and informed guidance to the state’s decision-makers. 1000 Friends’ President Watts noted that Florida Trend has been highly successful in reaching its goal of helping to “create a sense of community in Florida, tying together Florida’s diverse, competitive and often difficult-to-understand regions in a statewide context.” Said Watts, “As the people of Florida continue to grapple with issues related to growth, we will continue to look to Florida Trend for leadership and guidance.”
Community Steward/Public Servant Award — The Honorable Glenda Hood, Mayor of Orlando
The Honorable Glenda Hood received the Community Steward/Public Servant Award for her visionary leadership as Mayor of the City of Orlando. A fourth generation Floridian, Hood is serving her third term as mayor, having been first elected in 1992. In that capacity, she has effectively used growth management strategies to build safe, livable neighborhoods, a revitalized downtown, and a strong local economy, resulting in an improved quality of life for the residents of Orlando. Under Mayor Hood’s tenure, older and historic in-town neighborhoods have been restored and revitalized, compatible new mixed-use infill development is being constructed, refurbished city parks grace many areas, community safety has improved significantly, and the arts have become a civic priority. As a result, Orlando now has a healthy local economy and a true twenty-four hour downtown—a place where its residents can live, work and play in an attractive and stimulating environment. “Orlando is one of Florida’s true success stories,” according to Watts. “As we look to refine Florida’s growth management process to better promote urban redevelopment, we can learn much from the many accomplishments under Mayor Hood’s visionary leadership.”
Community Steward/Hometown Hero Award — Alicia Putney, No Name Key
Alicia Putney was nominated by attorney Richard Grosso for the Community Steward/Hometown Hero Award for her ongoing grassroots activism to promote more effective planning to protect the rich natural environment of the Florida Keys. Through her tireless volunteer efforts, meticulous and dedicated research, constant communications with agency staff and decision-makers, and outstanding advocacy, Putney has become “perhaps the most effective grassroots activist in the Florida Keys,” notes Grosso. Her work has helped protect the endangered Key Deer from development-related threats, resulted in improved land acquisition and management processes, and enhanced the implementation of the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan, including major projects like the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study, Wastewater Master Plan, and Big Pine Key Habitat Conservation Plan. “Florida needs more friends like Alicia Putney,” said 1000 Friends President Allen Watts. “Through her dedicated perseverance and years of informed activism, this one individual has made a meaningful difference in the Florida Keys.”
Special Recognition — Robert L. Parks, Jerry Sokolow, Jaimie Ross
On the occasion of 1000 Friends’ fifteenth anniversary, we were pleased to take the opportunity to recognize a few of Florida’s many long-standing “friends.”
Robert L. Parks was recognized for his outstanding leadership on legal advocacy issues. An attorney and environmentalist from Miami, Parks served on the Board of Directors of 1000 Friends of Florida from 1987 until 2000, also chairing the organization’s legal advocacy committee during his long tenure. In that capacity, he led 1000 Friends through numerous precedent-setting cases, which, among other things, established that local government could place restrictions on land designated as having unique attributes, found local comprehensive plans not in compliance and ordered appropriate remedies, and invalidated proposed constitutional amendments on property rights. “1000 Friends has always tried to educate and negotiate to resolve growth management problems,” noted Watts. “But when the appropriate time came to litigate, we knew we could count on wise and balanced counsel from Bob Parks.”
Jerry Sokolow has provided outstanding leadership on 1000 Friends’ financial management process. Since joining the Board of Directors in 1987, Sokolow has served ably as Treasurer of the organization. Over the years, this Miamian helped establish and monitor 1000 Friends’ financial management system, resulting in its distinguished track record. After 14 years of service to 1000 Friends, Sokolow is stepping down from the Board.
“1000 Friends will miss Jerry’s capable guidance on financial matters,” said Watts. “We wish him well in his retirement.”
Jaimie Ross was honored for her leadership in affordable housing. Ross has served as 1000 Friends’ Affordable Housing Director since 1991. In her first year she was instrumental in establishing the Sadowski Act Coalition that secured passage of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act of 1992. This established the nation’s largest dedicated funding source for affordable housing, which in 2000 alone generated over $175 million in state funds. Ross has been a tireless advocate for affordable housing, devoting great professional effort to issues related to “NIMBYism” (Not In My Back Yard) and the housing needs of farm workers and Florida’s lowest income residents. “1000 Friends is pleased to honor Ms. Ross for her decade of outstanding accomplishment,” noted Watts. “We look forward to her continued capable leadership in the arena of affordable housing over the next decade.”
This has been a particularly eventful year for growth management, as the Governor and Legislature contemplate major changes to Florida’s approach to dealing with this vital issue. “Our current system has evolved over the last thirty years,” says 1000 Friends’ Executive Director, Charles Pattison, “and it is especially appropriate that we took the long view and honored some of those who have devoted many years to helping Florida deal with its growth-related problems in a measured and responsible manner.”
Bill Sadowski Award –- Curtis Kiser, Tallahassee
A noted champion of environmental and growth management concerns, Curtis Kiser has had a long and distinguished career as a leader and visionary in the state of Florida. He served in the Florida House from 1972 to 1982, serving as the Republican minority leader from 1978 to 1982. From 1984 to 1994 he served in the Florida Senate. During his terms of office, he was often voted “Most Effective Legislator.” As a senator, Kiser was instrumental in the development of Florida’s landmark Preservation 2000 program, which has resulted in the public acquisition of more than a million acres of environmentally sensitive lands across the state. For this work, he earned the Florida Conservation Award five times. As a private citizen, he helped shape Florida Forever, the state land acquisition program that is carrying on the mandate of Preservation 2000. Throughout his long public service, he has spearheaded efforts to restore the Everglades. Recognizing his leadership skills, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Kiser as chair of the Governor’s Commission for the Everglades. The Executive Board of 1000 Friends nominated Curtis Kiser for the Bill Sadowski Award. In so honoring him, Dr. John M. DeGrove, President of 1000 Friends, said: “I can think of no one else in Florida who has played such a strong leadership role in developing specific, well-funded programs to protect environmentally sensitive lands from insensitive development. He fully recognizes the importance of proper funding to manage growth wisely and well. Florida is blessed to have an effective visionary like Curtis Kiser serving as one of her stewards.”
Florida Successful Community Award
Traditionally, one community is selected each year to receive this award. Because the caliber of this year’s nominations was so high, the Executive Board of 1000 Friends of Florida decided to present four awards and proclaim this “The Year of the Successful Community.” The common denominator among these recipients was the extraordinary level of cooperative effort between the public and private sectors, an essential ingredient for any truly “successful community.”
Escambia County–Recognizing the work of the Escambia County Commission, Escambia County Utilities Authority, Escambia County Health Department, Homebuilders Association of Northwest Florida and Escambia County Citizens Coalition– On August 1, 1999, policies went into effect in Escambia County that will virtually end the introduction of new septic tanks into the urbanized south end of the county. It is expected that this new program will reduce the number of septic tanks installed in that part of the county by at least 90 percent, making a significant contribution to the health of the environment. Development of the new policies involved cooperation among three government agencies: the County Commission, County Health Department and County Utilities Authority. In addition, the Homebuilders Association of Northwest Florida and the Escambia County Citizens Coalition played a significant role in their establishment. The Escambia County Chamber of Commerce nominated all of these groups for their role in the development and implementation of these policies. In making the award, Dr. DeGrove noted, “1000 Friends of Florida applauds this dedicated and cooperative effort to develop new septic tank policies to protect the rich natural environment and quality of life in Escambia County’s coastal area.”
Sarasota County–Recognizing the citizens of Sarasota County, the Sarasota Forever Committee, and Jono Miller, Robert Patten and Jon Thaxton. On March 9, 1999, the citizens of Sarasota County overwhelmingly supported passage of taxing and bond referenda for land acquisition. This will result in the protection of 36,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands, assisting with efforts to manage growth in this rapidly growing part of the state. Sarasota resident Robert A. Richardson nominated the citizens of Sarasota County, the Sarasota Forever Committee, and Jono Miller, Robert Patten, and Jon Thaxton for their leadership efforts with this initiative. In making his nomination he wrote, “In today’s world, it is easy to be apathetic, or to vote against any increase in taxes without regard for the issues. A successful community is one that pulls together with a vision and then takes action to follow on that vision.” Mary Kumpe, Vice President of 1000 Friends, presented this award, saying, “We applaud the citizens of Sarasota County for their leadership and vision. This has resulted in successful passage of a county referendum for the acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands to protect the natural beauty of Sarasota County for generations to come.”
St. Johns County–Recognizing the citizens of St. Johns County and the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. Once predominantly rural in character, this coastal county is now experiencing explosive growth. Citizens and county officials have joined together to provide greater direction on how this growth should take place. In several communities, citizen-led visioning processes supported by the county have brought about the development and adoption of valuable vision documents. The visioning process was begun in Ponte Vedra in 1997. On February 9, 1999, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners adopted by resolution vision documents prepared by Southern District 4 and South Anastasia Island. The Mid-Anastasia Visioning Project is now in the process of obtaining county adoption of its vision document. Complementing these efforts, St. Johns County also has adopted new land development regulations concerning historic preservation, environmentally sensitive lands, and wellhead protection. In his nomination, planner Timothy Brown remarked, “Taken together, these efforts clearly show that the citizens of St. Johns County along with County government have used extraordinary efforts to create a special place to live.” 1000 Friends was pleased to recognize the fine work taking place in St. Johns County.
Tallahassee-Leon County–Recognizing the work of the Economic and Environmental Consensus Committee in the development of Blueprint 2000 and Beyond . . . . As in many cities and counties across Florida, for many years Tallahassee and Leon County have faced divisions between environmental and development interests. Desiring to overcome this traditional barrier, a group of citizens came together to form the Economic and Environmental Consensus Committee (EECC). They met for over a year to develop a holistic community planning process to integrate transportation, land use, and water resource planning in Tallahassee and Leon County, while respecting the needs of both the environmental and development communities. Their report, Blueprint 2000 and Beyond . . . , includes a list of specific environmental, stormwater, transportation and business park projects that the EECC reached consensus on as being important for the community. The study has been warmly received by both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, with each agency directing their staff to devote considerable time to determine how best to incorporate its provisions into local planning. “This citizen-led, consensus-based approach to planning can serve as a fine example for communities throughout the state,” said Charles Pattison.
Al Burt Award — Jan Hollingsworth, Tampa Tribune
Since 1996, Jan Hollingsworth has covered the environmental beat for the Tampa Tribune. “[S]he has addressed a broad range of concerns, from growth management and land conservation, to air and water quality and endangered wildlife,” noted Tribune editor Steven Kaylor in the newspaper’s nomination of Ms. Hollingsworth. “The depth and quality of her reporting has made front page news of fundamental issues that impact the quality of life for all Floridians. Many of her articles deal with the ongoing struggle to balance public and economic health.” The Executive Board of 1000 Friends of Florida concurred that Ms. Hollingsworth’s timely and insightful coverage of critical growth management and environmental issues facing the region and state has served to keep the public well-informed. “1000 Friends recognizes that journalists are a key component of any successful growth management effort,” said Ms. Kumpe, in presenting this award. “For this reason,” she continued, “1000 Friends is proud to recognize Jan Hollingsworth for her thorough, ongoing coverage of growth management and other community issues to improve and enhance the quality of life in the Tampa area.”
Special Recognition — Kathleen Morris, 1000 Friends of Florida
Before closing the annual ceremony, 1000 Friends extended special recognition to Kathleen Morris, who for a decade has served as the organization’s Development Assistant. Besides overseeing the membership appeals, tracking donations and assisting with all other fundraising efforts, Ms. Morris has done much, much more for 1000 Friends. In overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization, she has helped provide a stable and productive working environment for the rest of the staff. Said Pattison, “Over the years, Kathleen has worked with dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism to promote the best interests of both 1000 Friends and Florida. Her institutional knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile continue to make an important contribution towards the success of this organization.” As a token of appreciation, the Board of Directors presented Ms. Morris with vase engraved with 1000 Friends of Florida’s logo.
Once again, 1000 Friends of Florida recognized some of this state’s leaders in growth management at the annual awards ceremony and reception, held at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee on March 17. For a decade, these awards have been recognizing some of the many individuals, organizations, projects and communities that enhance Florida’s quality of life through smarter planning for the future. Special guest Al Burt, the retired roving reporter for the Miami Herald and noted author, presented 1000 Friends’ Al Burt Award for Journalism and signed copies of his book, Al Burt’s Florida: Snowbirds, Sand Castles, and Self-Rising Crackers. This year’s awards were as follows.
Successful Community Award — The City of Miami Beach
In 1998 the City of Miami Beach, with public input, enacted a far-reaching package of zoning changes. These included reducing floor area ratios and allowable building heights for districts throughout the City, and rezoning certain areas. The goal was to reduce redevelopment not in keeping with the established character of the City and surrounding neighborhoods. Benefits include improvement of existing neighborhood property values, more appropriate and compatible use of land, preservation of existing neighborhood character, predictability with regard to new development, reduction of traffic congestion, and increased access to light, air, open space, and view corridors. The changes also will help ensure adequate hurricane evacuation and traffic concurrency.
City Manager Sergio Rodriguez wrote, “This growth management initiative directly benefits the quality of life for the residents of the City, and ensures that the special characteristics which have made Miami Beach so popular are preserved for future generations.” Mayor Neisen Kasdin accepted the award on behalf of the City.
Community Steward/Public Servant Award — The Honorable John Delaney, Mayor of Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s Mayor John Delaney unveiled his recent proposal for The Preservation Project, saying: “To address the explosive growth in parts of our community, we can use taxpayer money in one of two ways. We can either expand our roadways, which will only encourage uncontrolled growth and create 12-lane parking lots on our roadways, or we can have the vision to preserve large tracts of land now and give our citizens the opportunity to experience these unspoiled natural greenspaces.” He added, “When faced with the option of a generic strip mall on every street corner or a beautiful green park for families to enjoy, I think the choice is a natural one.”
The Preservation Project is a visionary $312.8 million plan to improve Jacksonville’s quality of life by enhancing parks, purchasing land for conservation, and improving access to natural assets. In presenting the award, 1000 Friends President Dr. John M. DeGrove noted, “This initiative, combined with Mayor Delaney’s successful campaign for federal designation of the St. Johns as an American Heritage River, makes Jacksonville a true innovator in Florida.”
Community Steward/Hometown Hero Award — Eugenia Noel, Palm Coast, Flagler County
Eugenia Noel, wrote nominator Al Hadeed, “has quietly, persistently and successfully been a leader on growth management in this fast growing community.” Ms. Noel, a dedicated, longtime volunteer, has served as president of the Hammock Civic Association; secretary of the Scenic A-1-A PRIDE (a citizen advocacy group establishing A-1-A as a state designated scenic highway under ISTEA standards); member of the Board of the Visions 2020 program (pressing for growth management issues); and secretary to the Florida Agriculture Museum. In presenting the award, 1000 Friends’ DeGrove called Ms. Noel a “hometown hero,” noting that she has consistently pushed for more effective growth management while paying special attention to the needs and interests of all area residents.
Bill Sadowski Award — Colonel Terrence “Rock” Salt, South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force
Since 1994 Colonel Terrence “Rock” Salt has served as Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, which includes representatives of seven federal agencies, former Florida Governor Buddy McKay, and chairmen of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. He has coordinated Everglades restoration policy, synchronized federal restoration efforts with state, tribal, and local government programs, advised on emerging ecosystem management policy, and developed interagency budget documents. Ernie Barnett of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, called the Restudy plan “a historic opportunity for integrating federal water resource planning efforts and funding with state, regional, and local efforts to assure the future sustainability of the natural and built environments of South Florida.” Richard Pettigrew, Chairman of the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, attributed the success of this “truly remarkable consensus process” in large part to “the singular skills of Colonel Rock Salt.”
Al Burt Award — Joel Engelhardt and Robert P. King, The Palm Beach Post
Praised for their outstanding coverage of key development issues facing Palm Beach County, Joel Engelhardt and Robert P. King, of the Palm Beach Post were dual winners of this year’s award. Both were nominated by Ms. Rosa Durando. Engelhardt, she said, has kept the public well-informed about growth management issues, from exposing landowners benefiting from the expansion of State Road 7, to critical analyses of the costs of growth. King’s coverage of the proposed development of the Agricultural Reserve and other significant projects has kept environmental perspectives in the public eye. “Palm Beach County is on the front line of overwhelming development which threatens its special character,” noted Mary Kumpe, Vice President of 1000 Friends. She thanked the pair for “helping residents of this area remain abreast of the many decisions being made that affect their lives so profoundly.”
Florida Greenways Award — Blackwater Heritage State Trail, Santa Rosa County
The Blackwater Heritage State Trail was constructed over a rail bed laid in the early 1900s for the Florida/Alabama Railroad. When the railroad was surplussed, concerned citizens formed the Blackwater Heritage Trail Association, Inc. They secured the donation of the railroad right-of-way to the State of Florida, and worked with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Transportation to develop the alternative transportation/recreation trail under the Florida Rails-to-Trails Program. In the words of DEP’s Robert Barlow, “a unique partnership was formed.”
This multiuse trail begins in the City of Milton and runs 7.1 miles north. Said Mary Kumpe, “The Blackwater Heritage State Trail was established thanks to the many partnerships formed between concerned citizens and government. It provides an important model for Florida.”
Carl Feiss Award — Helene Wetherington, Palm Beach County
Helene Wetherington is one of a growing group of young planners who are applying land use planning, anticipating long-term redevelopment needs, and formulating partnerships with the private sector to help reduce the physical damage occurring from future natural emergencies. The 1993 graduate of Florida State University completed a master’s in planning and was nominated for this award by Department Chair Charles Connerly.
Ms. Wetherington joined the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management in May 1998. In charge of planning all phases of emergency management, she is overseeing the development of a unified Local Mitigation Strategy for Palm Beach County and its municipalities, and coordinating training, and emergency exercises.
Special Friend of Florida Award — David Theriaque, Tallahassee
A Tallahassee lawyer with a master’s degree in urban planning, David Theriaque practices almost exclusively in the area of public interest land use law and has represented citizens and homeowner groups from Destin to Cocoa Beach. The Florida Wildlife Federation recommended Mr. Theriaque for this award after he represented the organization in a case involving a proposal to authorize commercial development near Wakulla Springs, a pristine park south of Tallahassee. After several years of trials and appeals, the land was purchased by the state. Said Mary Kumpe in presenting this award, “David has represented many organizations and individuals interested in protecting Florida’s special character, and often on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. 1000 Friends felt it highly appropriate to recognize his long-standing contributions to growth management. He is a true credit to the spirit of public service.”
Since 1989, 1000 Friends of Florida has been proud to recognize some of the many individuals, organizations, projects, and communities that enhance the quality of life in Florida with its annual Growth Management Awards. Nearly 200 attended this year’s award ceremony and reception, held in Florida’s historic Old Capitol in Tallahassee on Thursday, March 26, 1998. 1000 Friends’ Chairman Nathaniel Reed, who joined President John DeGrove in presenting the awards, noted, “When it comes down to it, it is people that make a difference in our communities, our organizations, our state and our nation.” Reed added, “Positive change is brought about by those dedicated individuals who have a vision of a finer future, and work relentlessly to reach that vision.”
Special Friend of Florida Award — Patricia S. McKay, 1000 Friends of Florida
After a decade of service with 1000 Friends of Florida, Executive Director Patricia s. McKay is moving to Australia this summer, where her husband has accepted a teaching position with Griffith University in Brisbane. In acknowledgment of its respect and admiration for Ms. McKay and her years of dedicated leadership, the Board of Directors of 1000 Friends presented her with the Special Friend of Florida Award. McKay’s service to 1000 Friends has spanned almost its entire history. She joined the organization in 1988 to serve as its first Planning Director, becoming its second Executive Director in 1995. Noted 1000 Friends Chairman Nathaniel P. Reed: “Patti has played a vital role in 1000 Friends, helping to strengthen it from a fledgling organization to a respected advocate for growth management. She has been a strong champion for the citizens of Florida, constantly working to increase the role of citizen participation in the planning process.” “Patti is also a skilled consensus builder,” said Reed. “The Board has always respected her ability to bring diverse interests to the table and leave with a common plan of action. 1000 Friends and Florida will miss, and Australia will benefit from, her leadership, enthusiasm, and vision.”
Pam McVety presented McKay with a plaque on behalf of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Kent Wimmer, on behalf of the Florida Greenways Coordinating Council, presented her with a framed photograph of Tallahassee. Jim Murley, Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs and first Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, joined former 1000 Friends staff members, including Steve Pfeiffer and Jan Dughl of the DCA, in presenting McKay with a plaque on behalf of DCA, which commended her for her “outstanding contribution to the people and communities of Florida . . . and providing examples of statewide leadership to Florida’s elected and appointed officials and citizens.”
Bill Sadowski Award – Col. Terry Rice, (Ret.), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Each year, 1000 Friends of Florida presents the Bill Sadowski Award to a public servant who epitomizes the leadership exemplified by the late Bill Sadowski, former Secretary of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs. This year’s award was presented to Col. Terry Rice, (Ret.), formerly of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During his tenure as the Jacksonville District Commander of the Corps, Col. Rice recognized that Florida’s growth management system did not successfully interface with the federal Clean Water, Endangered Species, and national Environmental Policy Acts. Said 1000 Friends President Dr. John m. DeGrove, “Col. Rice focused on helping all levels of government synchronize their responsibilities right from the start of the land use planning process. He also played a key role in developing the Keys Carrying Capacity Study which, for the first time in Florida, will establish the limit to the amount of development that the land can support in a sustainable manner.” In nominating Rice, the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce wrote: “Col. Rice took the Corps of Engineers to new heights by integrating best possible situations for the environment and area ecology into successful growth planning. His promotion of environmentally responsible growth is a most significant step forward for securing a successful future for our great state of Florida.”
Special Friend of Florida Award – Jean Sadowski, Tallahassee
1000 Friends of Florida also presented a Special Friend of Florida award to Ms. Jean Sadowski, wife of the late Bill Sadowski, the former Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs for whom the previous award was named. In thanking Ms. Sadowski for her steadfast support and encouragement, and recognizing her many contributions to Florida and 1000 Friends, DeGrove said, “Over the years, Jean has proven herself to be a true friend of both Florida and 1000 Friends. Through her work with her husband, Bill, and now with the Governor’s Office, she has consistently shown long-term support for growth management, land use planning and the environment, with many positive results.”
Al Burt Awards – Martha Musgrove, The Miami Herald, and Waldo Proffitt, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune
One of 1000 Friends’ first awards was given in 1989 to Al Burt, a roving reporter for the Miami Herald, who traveled the state extensively, offering his fascinating insights into Florida’s characters and challenges. The following year, 1000 Friends named this award in his honor, to be given each year to a journalist who carries on Burt’s tradition of “keeping the issues affecting the state in the public eye.” Al Burt presented the awards named in his honor, and signed copies of his new book, Al Burt’s Florida: Snowbirds, Sand Castles and Self-Rising Crackers. This year, 1000 Friends recognized two newspaper editors who have made significant contributions in expanding the level of understanding of critical environmental and growth management issues.
Martha Musgrove, Associate Editor of the Miami Herald since 1993, and a member of its editorial board since 1983, has gone out of her way to focus on critical environmental and growth management issues facing South Florida. In particular, Musgrove’s timely pieces have brought attention to the vital need for the protection of the Everglades. Her informative, enlightening style has helped expand public awareness of the complexities of this environmental treasure. Noting her leadership role in shifting both public and political sentiment toward protecting the Everglades system, Reed said, “1000 Friends of Florida is proud to recognize Ms. Musgrove for her outstanding ability to comprehend and share the host of environmental issues facing Florida and the nation, and for her leadership in challenging the citizens of South Florida to better care for and protect their rich environmental legacy.”
Waldo Proffitt, editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, has been an executive of that paper for more than 35 years. With his leadership and urging, the Herald-Tribune has been, and remains, one of the staunchest defenders of environmental protection and same development in Florida. This editorial leadership has played a significant role in maintaining and enhancing Sarasota’s high quality of life. Well before environmentalism and growth management were recognized terms, Mr. Proffitt’s articles challenged citizens and elected officials alike to think and plan ahead with great care and caution. A longtime advocate for manageable growth, he once wrote, “Like a human being, communities–agglomerations of humanity–should desire to grow to adulthood, to be able to preform all the functions expected and desired. But, once maturity is reached, a person or a community should avoid adding size or weight just for the sake of getting bigger.” Proffitt has, wrote one supporter, “through the grace of his prose and the commitment of his intellect, kept burning the lamp of environmental concern and awareness throughout much of Florida.”
Community Steward Award – Linda Bremer, Jacksonville
Community activist and volunteer Linda Bremer of Jacksonville has devoted many years to promoting better planning and environmental protection. In nominating Bremer, Mary-Slater Linn of Orlando called her “a hometown hero, community activist, and concerned citizen who truly cares about the future of her hometown of Jacksonville, and the state of Florida.” Linn continued, “It is volunteers and active citizens like Linda who ensure that Florida’s future is planned in such a way as to provide a good quality of life.” Bremer’s many activities include actively promoting public comment on regional plans, spearheading involvement in the critical wildlife habitat issue in regional plans, and working to prevent mining adjacent to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. She consistently testifies on behalf of the environment and planned growth.
Carl Feiss Award – Kim DeLaney, University of Florida
Just as concerned and active citizens are vital to the future of Florida, so too are public servants. Each year, 1000 Friends presents an award to a young planner who “serves as a model and exemplifies the dedication and forward thinking necessary to lead Florida into the 21st century.” Dr. DeGrove observed that, “This award has special significance this year as Carl Feiss, 1000 Friends of Florida board member emeritus, University of Florida professor emeritus, and planning leader for whom it is named, passed away in October of 1997.” Kim DeLaney, City Planner with the City of Stuart, and University of Florida alumna, was successfully nominated for the Carl Feiss Award by her supervisor, Terry O’Neil. He noted, “Increasing public participation is one of Ms. DeLaney’s key contributions to our community. From coordinating the citywide Visual Preference Survey to working with Neighborhood groups in clubhouses, Kim’s ability to facilitate discussions and gain consensus is a tremendous asset.” Her nominations was accompanied by numerous letters of support from community board members, private citizens, and others. DeLaney, O’Neil noted, “has truly brought life to planning in Stuart.”
Florida Greenways Award – The Florida Trail
Individuals working collectively have also made enduring contributions to Florida. Over the last 30 years, thousands of volunteers have donated untold hours to preserve a precious strand of Florida for millions to appreciate. The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service successfully nominated the Florida Trail for the 1998 Florida Greenways Award, given to “a community or project that is helping to make the state’s system of greenways a reality.”This hiking trail has evolved to span more than 1000 miles from the Gulf Islands of the western panhandle to the Everglades. It links more than 50 national and state forests, parks, preserves, greenways, rail-trails, wildlife refuges, water management areas, military reservations and seashores. In 1983, the U.S. Congress designated nearly all of the public land along the trail into Florida’s National Scenic Trail. Even more significant, much of the trail has been built and maintained by members of the volunteer-based Florida Trail Association. Last year alone, volunteers donated 40,000 hours of service. The U.S. Department of the Interior has recognized the Florida Trail Association as “one of the most effective citizen trail developing and maintaining organizations in the country.” According to Nathaniel Reed, “Perhaps no project is a deserving as the Florida Trail, which serves as the recreational spine of our statewide greenways system.” Richard Schuler, President of the Florida Trail Association, received the award on behalf of the trail, the association, and the volunteers.
Florida Successful Community Award – Charlotte County
This year, 1000 Friends of Florida presented Charlotte County with the 1998 Florida Successful Community Award for the significant strides county leadership has made to improve and strengthen its comprehensive planning process. The Honorable Matthew DeBoer, Chairman of the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners, accepted the award on behalf of the county. Charlotte County has faced serious obstacles to quality planning. For decades, local real estate developers succeeded in platting and selling hundreds of thousands of lots to buyers throughout the world. Build-out is estimated to be a century away. Compounding the problem are the tens of thousands of permitted septic tanks. Since 1994, when the local comprehensive plan was brought into compliance with state standards, Charlotte County has addressed many of these problems head-on through its 1996 Evaluation and Appraisal (EAR) process, including holding over a hundred public meetings in a six-month period. In its revised 1997 plan, Charlotte County employed a number of techniques to curtail urban sprawl and reduce septic tank pollution, taking incremental but positive steps to reverse decades of poor planning. In large part due to the active participation of the citizens and the resolve of its commissioners, Charlotte County is using its comprehensive planning process to deal with, in a forthright and admirable manner, decades of planning mistakes. “Charlotte County’s citizens and commissioners are to be commended for their determination to right the wrongs of the past,” said Reed.
Promoting affordable housing, protecting greenways, coordinating between schools and local governments, publicizing critical concerns facing our communities, and bringing people back downtown-what do these all have in common? All are ingredients essential for successful, livable communities. And all were highlighted at 1000 Friends of Florida’s 1997 Growth Management Awards Program. Held at 1000 Friends’ March 25 Legislative reception at the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee, the awards program showcased six of Florida’s leading individuals and communities in the arenas of long-range planning and citizen participation.
Bill Sadowski Award — Senator Patsy Ann Kurth, Palm Bay
Each year 1000 Friends presents the Bill Sadowski Award to honor a public servant who epitomizes the spirit of leadership shown by the late Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs. For her outstanding leadership in affordable housing, this year we honored Senator Patsy Ann Kurth of Palm Bay. Senator Kurth was instrumental in the development and passage of Florida’s William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act in 1992, as well as in securing appropriation of the Act’s “second dime” in 1995. Sadowski Act funds are estimated to dedicate approximately $1 billion for the development and preservation of safe, decent and affordable housing. Named after the late Secretary, the William E. Sadowski Act is considered one of the leading pieces of affordable housing legislation in the nation. 1000 Friends was honored to have Jean Sadowski present the award to Senator Kurth. In making its nomination, the Florida Housing Finance Agency noted that “because of Senator Kurth’s vision and leadership in addressing affordable housing needs, thousands of very-low-, low- and moderate-income Florida families will realize their dreams of a home of their own.”
Community Steward Award and Successful Community Award — The City of West Palm Beach and the Honorable Nancy Graham, Mayor
The successful revitalization of downtown West Palm Beach was so impressive that it garnered two awards-1000 Friends’ Community Steward Award to Mayor Nancy M. Graham for her leadership, and our Successful Community Award to the City of West Palm Beach for successful planning and implementation of its downtown revitalization program.
In a period of only four years, Clematis Street has been transformed from a ghost town to “the place to go” in West Palm Beach. The City commissioned a progressive master plan for the area and then financed attractive physical improvements. Private investors responded, rehabilitating older buildings, and opening over fifty new shops and restaurants in the five-block area. Newly constructed apartments and live-work lofts are already 100 percent occupied, with waiting lists. Festivals now draw hundreds of thousands of people downtown each year. “Clematis by Night,” a Thursday evening “block party,” attracts up to 5,000 people weekly to listen to live music, sample area restaurants, and dance in the interactive fountain. Saturdays, thousands explore the Downtown Greenmarket. The City has received a tremendous economic boost from the building rehabilitations, retail sales, and increasing property values. Equally important, the revitalization has been a catalyst for renewed community pride-an essential ingredient for any livable city.
Florida Greenways Award — Suwannee River Water Management District
Another long-standing commitment of 1000 Friends is the creation of an emerald necklace of greenways across the state. This year’s Florida Greenways Award was presented to the Suwannee River Water Management District for initiating a community-based planning effort which evolved into a call for the designation of more than 460 miles of greenways connecting more than 110,000 acres of public conservation lands and 300 miles of river corridors. In 1995, the Suwannee River Water Management District began its Greenways Visioning program to identify appropriate land and water corridors and to determine the local level of interest in the greenways concept. By the end of the year, thirty-five local organizations and city and county governments had passed resolutions supporting greenways, with twelve projects being planned in eight counties. Walter McKenzie, who submitted the nomination, noted, “what began as a regional greenway visioning initiative has become a conservation, recreation, land use, transportation and economic strategy to protect the quality of life in the Suwannee River Valley.” The work of the District epitomizes the ideal that “there is one thing better than good government, and that is government in which all the people have a part.”
Al Burt Award for Journalism — Steve Patterson, the Jacksonville Times-Union
Anyone involved in civic issues recognizes the key role of media in ensuring and enhancing citizen participation in the planning process. Each year, 1000 Friends honors a journalist who does an outstanding job of keeping the issues affecting Florida’s future in the public eye, in the tradition of former Miami Herald journalist Al Burt. This year’s award went to Steve Patterson of the Times-Union in Jacksonville. The Northeast Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club nominated Patterson “for his outstanding job of identifying and educating the citizens of northeast Florida on the impact of rapid growth, poor planning, growth management, and the process and politics surrounding their impact on the natural environment.” Over the last year, Patterson’s “Growing Anxiety” series explored the many growth-related issues facing the Jacksonville area. It helped lead to the formation of a 37-member “Growth Management Task Force,” which is making recommendations on land use, transportation, and economic development activities. Steve Patterson is to be commended for significantly raising the level of dialogue on long range planning issues in the Jacksonville area.
Carl Feiss Award — Tabitha Fazzino, Florida State University
Named after the board member emeritus of 1000 Friends, the Carl Feiss Award goes to a young planner who exemplifies the dedication and forward thinking necessary to lead Florida into the 21st century. This year’s award was presented to Tabitha Fazzino, a 1993 recipient of an M.S. degree in both Planning and Public Administration from Florida State University. Currently the Director of the Department of Development and Government Affairs for Dade County Public Schools, Fazzino represents the department on all zoning and growth management issues, directs the long-range planning functions, and proposes innovative ways to better use school facilities. She has proven to be a state leader in promoting enhanced and improved intergovernmental coordination between local schools and local government. We all can learn much from her exemplary work.