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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Place Work[s]hop Named Semi-Finalist in National Strong Communities Competition

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) announced today that Place Work[s]hop, a community project led by ESLC, Urban Dialogues and the town of East New Market has been selected as a semifinalist in the national competition “Strong Communities: Engaging Citizens, Strengthening Place, Inspiring Change.” The national competition, held by CommunityMatters and Ashoka¡’s Changemakers features Place Work[s]hop as one of 24 semi-finalists in the competition.

 The Strong Communities competition was designed to address problems and threats that face the vitality and quality of life in small towns and urban neighborhoods ¨C including one-size-fits-all development, decreasing social capital and disconnections between neighbors, struggling local economies, and rampant or sluggish growth. Place Work[s]hop was selected from among 260 entrants in the competition for the unique way it is helping to create positive change, address community challenges and build a more vibrant future.

 Place Work[s]hop is a collaborative community design initiative founded by ESLC and Urban Dialogues, Inc. Designed for the specific needs of the Eastern Shore’s small towns, Place Work[s]hop uses a process combining the local knowledge of the community with the design and planning knowledge of local architects, planners, preservationists, policy-makers and more. The entire community of East New Market gathered last fall to create a vision for their community which includes numerous drawings, input and ideas about the best strategies for helping East New Market become a vibrant small town once again. One result of the progress made from Place Work[s]hop is a community wide fundraising effort to purchase an historic home and park area Friendship Hall in the center of town.

 “This is very exciting for an Eastern Shore project to be selected and we are so pleased to see East New Market’s efforts to create a vision for the future of the town and the Shore get the recognition it deserves,” said Jake Day, ESLC’s Town Planning Manager, “Towns like East New Market are what make the Eastern Shore so great and the community deserves this accolade for all of their hard work in creating this vision.”

 The competition semi-finalists will now be reviewed by a panel of expert judges. If selected as a finalist in the Strong Communities competition, Place Work[s]hop will need votes from the local community to make it to the next level. The judging panel will select eight finalists to attend the CommunityMatters conference in Denver, Colorado sponsored by the Orton Family Foundation. Three grand prize winners will be selected by online voting among the general public and will receive $5000 each. Please visit www.changemakers.com/strongcommunities to see the entrants and semi-finalists, join the discussion, and to vote for the winners after September 22.

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