The Commonwealth’s leading voice for smart growth, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, will honor PA Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards and other trailblazing people, projects and plans that enhance livability and community resiliency in the statewide nonprofit’s annual awards program in Harrisburg.

“Through the Commonwealth Awards program, we are recognizing extraordinary initiatives throughout Pennsylvania,” said Stacie Reidenbaugh, President and CEO of 10,000 Friends. “From Erie to Germantown, creative people are developing innovative plans and uses for vacant and underutilized land and breathing new life into old neighborhoods.”

The 2019 Commonwealth Awards will be held on Wednesday, November 13th in Harrisburg with keynote speaker Kim Bracey, the former Mayor of York who now serves as the executive director of the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services in the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.

Leslie Richards, PA Secretary of Transportation

Leslie Richards, PA Secretary of Transportation

Visionary leadership awards will be presented to:

  • Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation, whose leadership and innovative initiatives improve the quality of life thoughout the state.
  • Kerstin Ams of Allegheny College, who developed Grow Meadville — 20 community gardens enabling residents to grow their own food; and Meadville Mobile Market – which expands access to fresh, local food to neighborhoods in need.
  • Jumpstart Germantown, a new, scalable model of community development that provides training, mentoring, networking, and financing options for aspiring local developers.

“Creating healthy, vibrant and resilient communities is the mission of 10,000 Friends,” said Reidenbaugh. “This celebration brings together leading professionals in real estate development, architecture, engineering, transportation, planning, higher ed, healthcare, municipal government, and community development.”

The winning projects and plans include:

  • 101 NQ, Lancaster
  • Hastings, the Great American Neighborhood, Bridgeville
  • The Village at Valley Forge, King of Prussia
  • Cherry Street Pier, Philadelphia
  • The Landmark Project, York
  • EMTA Bus Maintenance, Operations and Transit-Oriented Development, Erie
  • Norris Phase II, Philadelphia
  • GreenBuild, State College
  • Riverfront Park Revitalization, Wrightsville Borough
  • SEPTA’s Southern District Sustainability Site, Philadelphia
  • The Press Building, Lancaster
  • York Academy Regional Charter School, Upper School, York
  • PennDOT Connects, statewide
  • SEP-TAinable 2020, Philadelphia
  • Connect, Phila’s Strategic Transportation Plan, Philadelphia

“Beyond smart growth, our focus has evolved to recognize community resilience as the key to guaranteeing that urban, suburban and rural communities remain livable, prosperous and healthy,” said Reidenbaugh. “Land use strategies and infrastructure investments should strengthen communities by protecting or creating open space, enhancing economic opportunity and social cohesion, and reducing vulnerability to hazards. Along with affordable housing, multi-modal transportation, and green infrastructure, it forms the foundation of our Healthy Communities Initiative, and are essential elements of 2019’s winning projects and plans.”

The 2019 Commonwealth Awards will be held on Wednesday, November 13th at 5:30pm at The Forum in Harrisburg, PA. Tickets are available at


About 10,000 Friends
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is the leading statewide and regional voice for creating great places to live and work. Founded in 1998, we advocate for policies and investments that build and sustain walkable, healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians. As a recognized authority on responsible land use, we partner with and provide technical assistance to government officials, non-profit organizations and the private sector on development and policy solutions that protect the natural and built environments, strengthen local economies, provide access to economic opportunity for all, and improve community health and quality of life in our state’s diverse cities, towns, older suburbs, and rural communities. Visit