Neighborhoods and Neighbors Recognized for Outstanding Projects and Service

Neighborhoods and Neighbors Recognized for Outstanding Projects and Service

The fourth annual State of the Neighborhoods Awards held on Saturday, April 22 at the Tempe History Museum recognized outstanding Tempe residents and businesses with six awards and several honorable mentions.

Two new award types were added this year – Historic Preservation in partnership with the Historic Preservation Commission and Sustainability in collaboration with the Sustainability Commission offering both residential and commercial categories. The Historic Preservation award recognizes efforts to honor and preserve the deep history of Tempe. The Sustainability awards highlights people and projects in Tempe that are setting the standard for how Tempe can be a more sustainable and resilient city.

The Neighborhood Awards, recognize a variety of people, projects, initiatives and activities that build community, enhance communication and make a difference in neighborhoods and the community at large. Nominations are reviewed by the Neighborhood Advisory Commission.

The 2017 Neighborhood Award Winners include:

Chuck Malpede Neighbor of the Year Award is Justin Stewart.

Stewart serves on the Mitchell Park Neighborhood Association Board, serving as chair for the past three years of his five year tenure.  He led an effort to bring a skate park to Mitchell Park successfully helping to secure a Maryanne Corder Neighborhood Grant. Stewart is a champion of local neighborhood events and has initiated fundraising and food drives in support of youth and pet shelters. He is also an avid musician, gardener, and chef.

The Neighbor of the Year Award is Clark Park Garden and Farmers Market.

Over the last two years, countless volunteer hours coupled with grant assistance and neighborhood contributions have transformed a closed, shuttered pool space in the Clark Park neighborhood into a beautiful and thriving community garden. This project provides a model of how a small group of people can transform an unused public space into a vibrant neighborhood meeting and gathering place.

Property Beautification Award – Kendra Sollars

Sollars lives in Mitchell Park and right from the start involved others in creating her dream home by seeking out input and ideas. This collaboration not only helped to create a beautiful home, but also lasting friendships inside and outside the neighborhood.

Golden Shovel Property Beautification Award – Chris Coleman

Coleman transformed the exterior spaces of his home of eight years by hiring a landscape architect to create  a design that fits in with the character of the Mitchell Park neighborhood.  He and his Dad then went to work bringing it to life with beautiful results.

Alley Upkeep Award Golden Rake Award – S. Elm and S. Juniper & E. Gemini and E. Libra Alley

These residents have taken pride in consistently and meticulously maintaining their alley without being prompted.  They have kept it free of weeds and debris and with trees trimmed allowing for safe truck access and trash collection.


Meiny Vermaas (Residential)

Vermaas’ investment in a new, net-zero accessory dwelling unit (aka Granny Flat) is a commendable sustainable building. This unit uses sustainable materials in the siding and walls, LED lights, solar tubes for daylighting, and 18 solar panels. It even has a sustainable landscape with rainwater harvesting and mature trees.

Singh Meadows (Commercial)

Ken and Lee Singh and their team have created a lush, sustainable oasis on the old Rolling Hills Golf Course. Organically grown grass, a clear fish pond, wonderful local food and a thriving farmers market making an incredible destination for Tempeans and visitors alike.


Rose Eisendrath House Historic Rehabilitation

Awarded for collaboration between two non-profit organizations, the Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation and the Rio Salado Foundation; this project is an excellent example of successful rehabilitation and activation of an important historic preservation. Eisendrath House has served as a prominent landmark for North Tempe neighborhoods for decades.

Borden Homes Historic

This neighborhood is an outstanding example of a historic district that harkens back to the late 1940s and early 50s. Local neighbors worked together and engaged in a very complex undertaking ultimately succeeding in getting the neighborhood listed in the Tempe Historic Register as well as the National Register of Historic Places.

District Design Guidelines Mark Vinson

Vinson worked for the City of Tempe for more than 30 years. In that time he left a significant impression on the city as a whole and many notable landmark projects including: the Elias Rodriguez House, the Rose Eisendrath House, Laird and Dines Adaptive Reuse and three decades of redevelopment.

Neighbor of the Year Honorable Mentions

Buena Vista Ranchos HOA Residents

Mariam Ephraim

Stacey and Bret Giles

Ian Johnston

Freddie Schineller

Ron and Judy Tapscott

Alley Upkeep Awards Honorable Mentions

Tempe Gardens HOA residents

Mike and Joyce Wickell

Property Beautification Award Honorable Mentions

Arthur Grucky

Chad and Cari McLean

Lorie Holly

Tina Hudak and Lori Lott

John Borjon

A broadcast of this event will be available on Tempe11 in May.

Source: City of Tempe

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