Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning

Small Town and Rural Planning Division Planning Awards

Deadline: January 31, 2024

The Small Town and Rural (STaR) Planning Division invites nominations for its Division Planning Awards to recognize outstanding individuals and projects for their contribution to planning excellence in small town and rural communities. The program is open to any individual, organization, or consulting firm involved in planning for small town and rural areas.

Award Nomination Entry Form

The categories are:

Carol Thomas award for small town and rural planner

Given to an individual in public service, academia or the private sector that has made an outstanding contribution to planning in their community.

Vernon Deines Award for Comprehensive Plan or Special Project Plan

Given to an outstanding comprehensive plan or special project plan that addressed the development of a neighborhood, community, county or region.

John Keller Award for Planning Initiative

Given to an outstanding initiative or program in public education, workshops, ordinances, or enforcement that promotes planning in small towns and rural areas.

James A. Segedy Award for Student Project

Given to an outstanding project by a graduate or undergraduate class or individual that addresses a planning issue facing small town or rural areas.

Members of the Awards Committee (and their organizations) are not eligible for an award. Nominated plans, projects, programs and studies must have been completed within two years of the nomination submittal date. For Comprehensive Plans and Special Project Plans prepared by consultants, the award recipient shall be the client for whom the planning activity was conducted.

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee will use the following criteria in its consideration of award nominees:

  • Innovation
  • Quality
  • Implementation Strategy/Measurable Results and Expectations
  • Role of Elected Officials
  • Transferability/Replicability/Model Project for STaR Communities
  • Creative Public Engagement/Collaboration/Public Involvement
  • Long-Term Sustainability and/or use of Smart Growth Principles
  • Promotes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Nomination Procedures

Submissions must be submitted in electronic form (pdf file format) and may be made via e-mail, Dropbox (or similar file sharing service), FTP site or a mailed USB drive or CD-ROM no later than 5pm Eastern Standard Time on January 31, 2024.

A complete nomination package includes the following:

  • Award Nomination Entry Form (DOC)
  • A Summary Statement indicating why the nominee merits the award
  • Letters in support of the nomination
  • A copy of a prepared news release with forwarding address
  • Any supporting reports, plans, articles, newsletters, or other supporting documentation (CD-ROM is an acceptable format)
  • Images (at least 10, in .jpg or .png format) illustrating the work completed, including public outreach pictures, jurisdiction or project logos/graphics, and project poster boards
  • The plan or project report being nominated, or a resume/biography of the individual being nominated (Carol Thomas Award)
  • A check for the nomination fee made payable to APA STaR Division: $25 if nomination is made by Division member, $100 if nomination is made by a nonmember

Submit Completed Electronic Entry Packets and Mail Checks to:

STaR Awards Committee c/o Mary Howard
58 Nevis Rd
Tivoli, NY 12583

Phone: (518) 929-5866
Email: mthdwh8000@yahoo.com


For further information, contact Mary Howard at (518) 929-5866 or mthdwh8000@yahoo.com

Previous Awards Recipients

Previous Small Town and Rural Planning Division Award recipients