Great Places in Florida Award
And the top vote getter for the 2022 People's Choice Award is ... Bayshore Drive - Collier County!
Bayshore Drive is a vibrant street that reflects a diverse set of community qualities, truly making it one of the most distinct Healthy Places in southwest Florida. Stretching nearly 2 miles in unincorporated Collier County, Bayshore Drive has evolved over the last several decades from a 2-lane corridor of underutilized businesses and residences to a complete street with a true sense of place and well-being. Bayshore Drive is anchored by an award-winning botanical garden to the south and a vibrant waterfront cultural arts district to the north.
Revitalization has been achieved through comprehensive community visioning and public investment in complete street improvements led by the Bayshore Triangle Community Redevelopment Area and Bayshore Beautification Municipal Service Taxing Unit. As the street’s infrastructure transformed, it energized private investment. Now Bayshore Drive is a place for people of all abilities and backgrounds seeking to embrace healthy living, social engagement, and a sustainable environment.
Thank you to our judges:
- Lizzie Ehrreich M.A., Efficient Transportation Decision Making, Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization
- Kimberley Jaar, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA, Design Associate, NXG Studios
- Charla Lucas, COO, Florida Recreation and Park Association
- Jarrell Smith, Transportation Planner, VHB
- Vivian Young, AICP, Communications Director, 1000 Friends of Florida
MEET THE OTHER FINALISTS
CAPITAL CASCADES TRAIL SEGMENT THREE - TALLAHASSEE
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO BEGIN THE SLIDESHOW
Segment 3 of the Capital Cascades Trail provides a 1.2-mile urban greenway trail that doubles as a linear park, with many beautiful, individual amenity spaces to create a key connection between the APA Great Places Award-Winning Cascades Park, through Tallahassee-Leon County’s arts district between Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The project creates a key multimodal linkage between commercial and residential areas, Tallahassee’s Art District, and two Universities on Tallahassee’s Southside; it also provides many spaces for community interaction, features wonderful design, and allows users the ability to exercise and to get outside! This project supports improved public health, fosters community dialogue, and allows increased opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities opportunities to live, work, and play.
DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT PARKS - ST. PETERSBURG
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO BEGIN THE SLIDESHOW
The St. Petersburg Downtown Waterfront Parks are one of the most important assets of our community and a ‘Great Healthy Place’ for residents and visitors. The parks are a primary driver of our strong economy, reflective of our city’s active lifestyle, and a key reason that people love St. Pete... the Sunshine City!
The 160-acre waterfront parks promote healthy activities, with facilities, venues, programs and events that encourage vibrant good health for body, mind and spirit. Our 7 miles of shoreline parks include an aquatic center, tennis courts, outdoor exercise pavilion, volleyball courts, soccer stadium, softball field, bike and walking paths, fishing, beaches, play structures, a sailing center, and more. Popular events include the renowned Saturday Morning Fresh Market, St. Anthony’s Triathlon, Health & Wellness Expos, Heroes Memorial Run, swimming and bayside environmental programs.
St. Petersburg’s expansive waterfront parks foster an inclusive and healthy lifestyle for all ages to enjoy!
THORNBY NATURE PARK - DELTONA
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO BEGIN THE SLIDESHOW
Deltona’s Economic Development & Ecological Tourism Sustainability Department and Volusia County ECHO designed Thornby Nature Park; almost 40 acres of pristine wooded property along the scenic shoreline of the St. John's River. Its innovative and sustainable design speaks to Heritage, Education, Recreation, and Ecology, and affords visitors an all-inclusive experience. Park design includes ADA-certified ramps and bridges and Engineered Wood Mulch, which compacts over time for stability, allowing wheelchair access. Also, the city obtained the National Audubon Society’s “Birdability” designation for Thornby Nature Park; meeting stringent criteria set for handicapped nature enthusiasts in wheelchairs to enjoy nature experiences.