Congratulations to NARC’s Photo Contest Winners!

During last week’s virtual conference, NARC President Marge Vogt announced the winners of NARC’s photo contest and shared the stories behind these great pictures.

The six winning entries can be found below along with captions sharing the stories behind these photos. Below the winners are our runner-up entries. There were so many excellent entries, it was a challenge to pick the winners!

Photo Contest Winner:  Lehigh Valley Planning Commission 

(Allentown, PA) This young woman was among more than 5,000 who attended the Blues, Brews & Barbeque event in downtown Allentown, and among many who responded to the Blackboard Cube questions seeking their hopes for the Lehigh Valley region’s future.

Photo Contest Winner: Alamo Area Council of Governments

(San Antonio, TX) The AACOG Senior Demonstration Program pairs seniors over the age of 55 with local veterans to build camaraderie and companionship in hopes of avoiding isolation. This veteran turned 93 years old in May and his companion organized a social distancing celebration.   

Photo Contest Winner: Centralina Council of Governments

(Charlotte, NC) This paint-by-number project brought together over 100 volunteers and coincided with Open Streets 704, an event that temporarily closes public streets to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic while creating healthier, more connected communities.

Photo Contest Winner: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

(Detroit, MI) SEMCOG has launched Southeast Michigan Trail Explorer, an interactive tool that enables users to virtually travel hundreds of miles of land and water trails throughout the region. In the attached photo, two visual data gatherers are boating one of Southeast Michigan’s water trails to collect images that are now part of the Trail Explorer experience. 

Photo Contest Winner: Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency 

(Wellington, FL) Complete streets take on a new meaning during the winter months as equestrians worldwide participate in championship show-jumping contests and polo matches. In this photo, groomsmen lead two horses across an equestrian-actuated mid-block crosswalk with push buttons positioned for both pedestrians and riders while motorists yield the right-of-way. 

Photo Contest Winner: Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization 

(Miami, FL) The Miami-Dade TPO received $100 million from the USDOT for the South Corridor of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan. On August 30, 2018, the TPO Governing Board approved Bus Rapid Transit for this 20-mile exclusive transitway between the Dadeland South Metrorail Station and Florida City.

Photo Contest Runners-Up

Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development District
(Lufkin, TX) DETCOG celebrated the completion of their new Regional Headquarters facility in Lufkin, Texas on January 10, 2020. This facility was made possible by a $3.2 million public-private partnership.
Denver Regional Council of Governments
(Denver, CO) DRCOG Area Agency on Aging Division Director Jayla Sanchez-Warren participates in a food fair to help older adults in the region stay healthy and make sure their nutritional needs are met. 
East Texas Council of Governments 
(Kilgore, TX) ETCOG’s rural transportation system, GoBus, prioritized trip efficiency and consolidation this year. Notable accomplishments include reducing fares by $2 per trip and eliminating fares for veterans and active military personnel. Pictured is an ETCOG staff member maintaining a GoBus vehicle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maricopa Association of Governments
(Phoenix, AZ) MAG coordinates an annual street count in which hundreds of volunteers fan out across the region to count the number of people experiencing homelessness.  In this photo, outreach worker Tara Devlin collects information from Tony Cañes, a Phoenix man experiencing homelessness. 
Metropolitan Area Planning Agency
(Omaha, NE) MAPA created the Regional Development Report, which offers critical insight into the decisions that have influenced the bistate region’s development pattern. The report is the first of its kind at MAPA.
Mid-America Regional Council
(Kansas City, MO) Following the COVID-19 outbreak, MARC’s Aging and Adult Services team immediately began sourcing additional frozen meals and funding to expand their home-delivered meals operation to senior centers across the region. They were able to increase delivery by 85% across 15 community providers from February to April. As of May 28th, they have delivered 67,075 meals to 3,188 clients. 
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority 
(Passaic, NJ) This photo shows a presentation being made by students from the Passaic Academy for Science & Engineering in November 2019. Thirty students from the academy took part in a road safety audit to help investigate how to improve Main Avenue, the City of Passaic’s downtown core. 
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council 
(St. Petersburg, FL) The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s resiliency conference in January 2020, called “Champions of Change: Creating Resilient Communities,” was the first area-wide conference of its kind, providing a healthy exchange of ideas for more than 350 attendees.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission 
(Columbus, OH) When Virgin Hyperloop One began its U.S. Roadshow with its XP-1 pod, MORPC partnered with Columbus’s Center of Science and Industry to plan a kick-off event on the plaza outside the science museum for families and children to attend and participate in STEM-related activities. 
Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments
(Cincinnati, OH) In early 2019, OKI was honored to receive the 35th Marine Highway Project designated by MarAd in the US and only the second Marine Highway Project on the Ohio River. The certificate designates a new short-haul service along the M-70, making it an approved project eligible for potential federal grant funding.

Congratulations again to all of the winners and thank you to all our members who sent in submissions. It’s inspiring to see all the work you do in your communities!

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About the Author

Eli Spang
I am responsible for a variety of NARC's communications work, including editing the eRegions and Transportation Thursdays newsletters and managing the NARC website and blog. I also provide legislative support for NARC’s Environment and Energy Committee.

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