We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Grow Smart Awards, to be honored at our annual awards celebration on Wednesday, November 13, at the Linen Building in downtown Boise. This year’s program highlights smart growth examples from a cross-section of five Idaho places.

Smart growth strategies help communities bring positive social, environmental and economic benefits to all residents, visitors and local businesses. For the past fifteen years Idaho Smart Growth has presented these awards to recognize projects, plans and other efforts from around the state that illustrate smart growth “in action.” Award nominations are reviewed and selected by a jury of experts for their application of smart growth principles.

The evening event includes a reception and awards presentation and will feature a short talk by Robert Liberty, a leading advocate for smart growth strategies. Liberty currently is director of the Institute for Sustainable Studies at Portland State University. Prior to PSU, he was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 as a Metro councilor (the Portland area’s regional elected government), was senior counsel to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and a staff attorney and executive director at 1000 Friends of Oregon, one of the nation’s first smart growth organizations. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Commission.


Wednesday, November 13th
5 PM – 7 PM
The Linen Building,
1402 W Grove St Boise, ID 83702

Table sponsorships also available; contact sarah@idahosmartgrowth.org.


2019 Award Recipients: 

Lewiston City Library

This project relocated and expanded the public library through the adaptive reuse of a 1900s hardware store and in doing so helped to spur revitalization of the 5th Street corridor in Lewiston’s historic downtown.

Boise River Greenbelt

The Greenbelt is a linear riverbank parkway that was planned over 50 years ago and is now Boise’s premier natural asset, providing significant recreational, environmental, economic and social benefits.

Kootenai Street Traffic Calming

This is a citizen-driven plan that will calm vehicle traffic, improve walking and biking and reclaim a distinctive neighborhood street in Boise. The innovative design is a result of intensive planning and collaboration by a wide range of stakeholders.

McCall in Motion

McCall in Motion was the robust public outreach process for three separate plans in McCall—it brought together the outreach efforts for the comprehensive plan update, a transportation plan and a local housing strategy to create efficiencies, maximize community input and recognize the interconnectedness of these plans. The result is an example of collaboration leading to the implementation of the community’s vision and goals.

ElJay Waite—Charles Hummel Award

This award is given by the Idaho Smart Growth Board of Directors in honor of architect, civic leader and Idaho Smart Growth cofounder Charles Hummel. The 2019 award is given to ElJay Waite, longtime finance director and urban renewal chairman for the city of Caldwell. ElJay developed the funding for a wide range of civic, educational and open space projects that have completely transformed Caldwell. In his retirement, he continues to consult on Caldwell URA projects and is currently assisting the agency in planning for new urban renewal districts.


The public is invited to attend the celebration on November 13; tickets and more information available here.