The judges recognized Stuart for environmental awareness. The city instituted a watershed planning and improvement program to improve the overall quality of the St. Lucie River and its associated lands. Recharge basins and ponds were created, thereby increasing fresh water aquifers, natural areas were claimed, dumps were removed and noxious weeds were eliminated. Creek trails were subsequently developed, and the entire plan identified and preserved wildlife corridors and improved storm water quality and environmental conditions.
|Arroyo Grande, California: In just a short time, Arroyo Grande has harnessed a multitude of citizens to the common goals of making its community better. The judges say the Village Improvement Association has pulled the community together, and its success is obvious to all who live there.|
|Artesia, California: The judges recognized Artesia particularly for its landscaped areas. The need to upgrade the Pioneer Boulevard business corridor was evident, and residents and the municipality addressed the challenge to revitalize the area through grants. They believed the key was to improve the area so businesses would return, thus providing essential tax revenue.|
|Colleyville, Texas: The city has a diverse collection of trees in its parks, along its roads and especially in its housing tracts. Stringent regulations are in place to preserve and enhance the trees that grow in the community. Far-sighted regulations require pocket parks in all developments, and these are frequently planted with trees to provide a shady respite from summer heat.|
|Northfield, Minnesota: Native Americans once used the Cannon River for fishing and transportation, and settlers later built dams for the water power they could harness. Both are part of Northfield’s rich history, and it excels in heritage preservation. Lately, there has been a resurgence in restoring numerous historic large houses in town according to architecturally accurate plans. There is also a wonderful array of interesting architecturally designed homes.|
This population category was judged by Patrick Bones and Bruce Riggs.