Communication Builds Our Community

Lake Wales Envisioned Wins Another Award

Local Planning Effort Collects Multiple Accolades

The community-developed Lake Wales Envisioned plan continues to receive accolades from organizations both in Florida and around the nation.

Courtesy Lake Wales Envisioned

The Envisioned Plan outlines a "Big Green Network" on environmental lands surrounding the city, connected toward a network of parkways, bike tracks and walking trails that lace through the city.

In the latest announcement about the program, Lake Wales Envisioned has been chosen by the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA FL) for its premier honor, the Award of Excellence. Envisioned also won an award from the Florida Planning & Zoning Association earlier this month.

The new award follows closely the announcement that the eponymous video about the local project has received a Communicator Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. . That 30-minute video, created by Lee Dover, featured many local residents who commented about the project they helped develop.

The creation of the plan was guided by the Dover, Kohl & Partners planning company of Coral Gables. Principal planners Joe Kohl and Victor Dover were also awarded the prestigious Seaside Prize for excellence in planning based largely upon their work in Lake Wales. Their designs here closely mimic the transformation the firm achieved in Winter Park two decades ago.

Lake Wales Envisioned is intended to help shape the form of growth in the area, assuring an interconnected grid of streets to reduce traffic congestion, created walkable neighborhoods, assure that natural areas are protected, and define the limits of future city growth.

Robert Connors

A large crowd gathered at the Lake Wales Woman's Club auditorium to view the Envisioned video, a 30-minute production that also won awards and was selected for inclusion in the Redfish Film Festival in Panama City.

The APA Florida Project Awards program provides the chapter the opportunity to recognize outstanding planning projects throughout the state at its annual Florida Planning Conference. The program provides APA Florida members with the chance to see and learn about development, conservation, government, or environmental projects, where exceptional planning has had a positive impact on the outcome.

Three recipients were named for the "Best Practices" Award of Excellence, including the Southside Action Plan adopted by the City of Tallahassee, Heritage at Risk, a Miami-Dade County effort, and Lake Wales Envisioned, adopted by the City of Lake Wales.

The Project Awards recipients will be recognized during the opening session of the Florida Planning Association conference in Tampa, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4, at which time a two-minute video about the project will be shared with attendees.


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