One of the categories in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement this year is "Rural Smart Growth."
In the rural category, the contest is seeking applications from "rural areas that have used smart growth strategies to protect and support working lands while accommodating growth in downtowns and main streets, or small communities that have applied smart growth concepts to increase housing and transportation choice in existing areas."
Applications are due by April 5, 2010. Up to five awards will be given. Winners will be selected from five categories, including "Rural Smart Growth."
The EPA describes smart growth development practices as "preserving open spaces and parkland and protecting critical habitat; improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, and transit, which reduces emissions from automobiles; promoting brownfield redevelopment; and reducing impervious surfaces, which improves water quality."
More information is available on the EPA website.