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Posted on: May 15, 2017

Loudoun Wins National Achievement Awards for Innovation

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Loudoun County has been recognized with several Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance the many services that counties provide. In addition, Loudoun’s Community Ambassador Program received the highest level of recognition with a Best in Category award for the Volunteers Category.  Loudoun’s award-winning programs are the:
  • Community Ambassador Program; 
  • International Festival; 
  • Rideshare Rewards; and 
  • Year of the Cat.
Community Ambassador Program  
The Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging and Commission on Aging launched the Community Ambassador Program to train volunteers with the goal of ensuring that all seniors have access to needed resources. The program represents a partnership between county service organizations, volunteers and local law enforcement to promote programs that enhance the health and safety of Loudoun seniors. About 90 ambassadors have been trained since the program began in 2014. In addition to increasing AAA’s outreach activities, the program has resulted in significantly increased public awareness of senior services in the community.  More information about the program and the services provided by the Area Agency on Aging may be found at www.loudoun.gov/aaa.

International Festival
The International Festival held annually at the Douglass Community Center in Leesburg features live entertainment, cultural demonstrations, shopping, food from around the world, and fun activities for all ages. The festival grew out of an initiative by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) in which community center staff members were encouraged to reach out to their communities to meet the needs and requests of local neighborhoods. Plans are underway for the next International Festival scheduled for September 2017. More information about the festival and other PRCS programs and services is available at www.loudoun.gov/prcs.

Rideshare Rewards
The Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure’s Rideshare Rewards Program successfully reduced the number of vehicles on area roadways. The carpool incentive program administered by the department’s Transit and Commuter Services Division provided a “reward” in the form of a VISA gift card for eligible participants who carpooled to work during a specific period of time. The program was funded in part by a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Participants recorded their work carpool trips in NuRide, the ride-matching organization, which calculated vehicle trips reduced as well as vehicle miles reduced. There were 1,764 fewer trips taken and 57,015 fewer miles driven during the three-month program. More information about Loudoun Commuter Services is online at www.loudoun.gov/commute.

Year of the Cat
To meet the challenge of finding adoptive homes for cats and kittens, the Department of Animal Services developed a group of programs collectively referred to as “The Year of the Cat.” The programs included comprehensive vaccination protocols, community engagement through foster care, affordable treatment for contagious disease, progressive adoption programs, and training of a volunteer corps known as “Kitty Candy Stripers” to provide compassionate, hands-on care to sick kittens being housed at the shelter.  The program resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of cats adopted from the Animal Shelter, from 57 percent to 83 percent. More information about Loudoun Animal Services is online at www.loudoun.gov/animals.

More information about the National Association of Counties and the NACo Achievement Award Program is online at www.naco.org.

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