Spanning five East Central Florida counties, the winning projects exemplify how local communities are fostering innovation to propel our dynamic region forward.
Orlando, Florida (December 6, 2023) – The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Diamond Awards. This year’s distinguished cohort of seven winners represents the best in community-forward initiatives within the East Central Florida region.
The ECFRPC received a remarkable pool of submissions, showcasing an array of innovative and impactful initiatives and projects. The Diamond Awards recognize exceptional projects that exemplify unique and noteworthy approaches to addressing regional challenges and help to realize the development of a healthy, sustainable, thriving, and resilient East Central Florida.
The 2024 East Central Florida Diamond Award winners include;
• Conservation & Countryside: FDOT District 5’s Wekiva Parkway Section 6 Project
This segment of the Wekiva Parkway features most of the wildlife protections that make the Parkway unique in its effort to protect environmental connections while enhancing transportation options.
• Regional Prosperity: Osceola County’s Osceola Prosper
Through Osceola Prosper, the County demonstrates the innovative use of funding sources and partnerships to create a successful program to invest in the county’s future workforce and promote regional prosperity.
• Health & Equity: Peace and Justice Institute’s Resilience Network Project
The Resilience Network exemplifies the impact of a holistic, interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach and partnerships in moving the need to address social resilience throughout the region.
• Innovative Places: Groveland’s Dark Sky Initiative Project
The City of Groveland’s Dark Sky Initiative, the first in the state, showcases the City’s leadership and innovation in addressing the negative impacts of light pollution through planning, community engagement, and education.
• Excellence in Big Data and Technology: Arkly by HighTide.ai
This unique business model empowers the public with free property-level data and risk management solutions to assess and manage flood risk.
• Executive Award of Regional Significance: Orange County’s Acquisition of Environmentally Sensitive Lands
Demonstrating Orange County’s commitment to land conservation, this program aims to ensure future generations can enjoy the biodiversity and natural resources that make our region so exceptional while working to preserve and restore crucial wildlife corridors.
• Brilliance Award of Regional Excellence: Family Promise of Brevard’s Firehouse Project
The highest award of the ECF Diamond Awards was the obvious choice for this project due to its innovative funding and reuse elements, which exemplify the transformative power of place-based planning and partnerships while working to address our region’s ongoing housing crisis.
“The Diamond Awards are an excellent way to celebrate those who exemplify the core principles of our regional vision, showcase the power of collective partnerships, and create community-centered projects and programs,” said ECFRPC Executive Director Tara McCue. “Just as last year’s inaugural class, this cohort of winners exhibits the exceptional efforts shaping a more resilient and prosperous East Central Florida region.”
The Diamond Awards breakfast ceremony will occur on February 21, 2024, at 10:00 at the Lake Mary Events Center. Following the celebratory presentation of awards at the February breakfast, a stimulating panel discussion awaits. Representatives from the seven winning projects will engage in a thought-provoking exchange, delving into the inspiration, challenges, and future vision behind their groundbreaking initiatives. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available at www.ECFRPC.org/Awards.
About the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
Established in 1962 as an area-wide association of governments, the ECFRPC is represented by 32 Council members and a skilled staff that provides technical assistance to governments and organizations within the East Central Florida region. The ECFRPC covers eight counties in East Central Florida, including Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia. These eight counties include 78 towns and cities.
Ken Storey | Communications Specialist
407-245-0300 ext. 300