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News Release
Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Tigard Receive Excellence on Main Awards - 10/07/21

SALEM — Oregon Main Street announced its 2021 “Excellence on Main” award winners today and released videos of all the recipients. A total of twenty-one businesses, projects, partners, and people were recognized. Five of those recognized were from Albany, Corvallis, and McMinnville based on nominations submitted by the Albany Downtown Association, Downtown Corvallis Association, and McMinnville Downtown Association. Videos of the following award winners can be found here.

Beaverton

  • One of two Business Heroes awards went to Lionheart Coffee Company owned by Lauren and Ben Reese. At the start of the pandemic, Lionheart switched focus from pastries and beverages and began to operate as a food resource center. They collected community donations and made free lunches providing over 12,000 meals to people in need. Lionheart also partnered with City of Beaverton to close streets and add outdoor public seating. Many nearby businesses said that they would have closed their doors forever without the presence of the Dining Commons. Even many of the non-restaurant businesses have seen it as a net positive for the community, as well as inducing 12 new businesses to open downtown drawn by the demonstrated community support. Beyond the Commons, Lionheart also partnered with an organization to hand out mental wellness kits for children, distributed meal boxes to out-of-work baristas and coffee professionals, and collaborated on several one-off fundraisers for organizations throughout the year. And, Lionheart Coffee Company assisted Hannah, the 11-year-old daughter of a neighboring business, to clean up downtown by helping set up her social media account and coordinate volunteers for Hannah’s Helpers. This collaboration between business owners and children brings us to the roots of a healthy community - clean streets, happy children, and thriving businesses. The other recipient in this category was Oregon Homegrown Foods in Albany.

 

  • One of two Outstanding Public Private Partnership went to the City of Beaverton and the Beaverton Downtown Association. Since the founding of the Beaverton Downtown Association in 2011, the City of Beaverton has provided grant funding, staff support, and clear pathways of communication. The importance of having this partnership helped to be responsive during the pandemic. The City and BDA worked on creating the Open Air Beaverton program which provides flexibility for restaurants to use on-street parking spaces and private parking lots for expansion of dining areas. And, the BDA received $10,000 from the City to add 2 new wall murals, 6 new sidewalk murals, and 9 new potted planters to the Dining Commons. It's not just the outdoor spaces that the City has supported, but it's also BDA’s organizational administration, including seed funding for some of BDA’s foundational programs. BDA is working with the City to improve the walkability of the district and conducted a walkability analysis of downtown resulting in additional short-term lighting solutions. And, the City has invited BDA to participate in internal Downtown Team meetings which includes City staffers from every department involved in downtown. Projects are discussed to make sure everyone is on the same page. It's not just staff who have been supporting BDA, but elected officials now as well. Mayor Beaty walked through downtown with BDA’s executive director to meet business owners several times after elected to office. This district is headed in the right direction, and it's a result of great people forming great partnerships like the one that exists between the BDA and the City of Beaverton. The other recipient in this category is the City of Independence and the Independence Downtown Association.

Hillsboro

  • One of two Outstanding Special Project awards went to the Literary Pollinator Garden project in downtown Hillsboro that was designed and implemented by Lazar Isakharov, a Glencoe High School Junior. Lazar approached the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership about his idea and worked with them on the garden plan. He recruited volunteers to implement the plan, volunteering many hours of his own time to get this project off the ground. The new garden consists of 9 different planter beds and features many native plants and nonnative cultivars chosen for their connection to literary quotes as well as to provide a food source and habitat for pollinators. Besides bringing new life to an important portion of the business district, Lazar’s project engaged local volunteers in community building activities. It now serves as an educational tool and is the backdrop of new and future projects including a rain barrel demonstration site and a self-led activity for kids to paint and place themed rocks in the garden. Lazar has really taken this project in his stride and worked hard and remained flexible while balancing school and extracurricular activities during a particularly challenging year. He has empowered his peers and HDP staff to dream big and be creative.

 

  • Volunteers on Main Kipperlyn Sinclair has faithfully served on the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership (HDP) board and on a variety of committees. One of the products of Kipperlyn’ s leadership was HDP’s Idea Sharing process and the visual diagram that outlines the process. This helps HDP ensure all ideas are heard and recorded, giving folks credit when it is deserved. Kipperlyn works tirelessly to support Downtown businesses and assists at multiple downtown events, including Artwalk and Drinkentines. When the pandemic hit, she hung handmade tags outside of each retail shop and restaurant to lift the spirits of business owners. Arguably, the most amazing thing that she gave to the community was the Wishing Tree. She brought this idea forward, coordinated all the details, reached out to the community to invite them to participate, and even disassembled it at the end of October. This gift to the community will live on for many years to come. Kipperlyn is one of six volunteers celebrated

Tigard

  • The other Outstanding Special Project award went to Building Our New Landscape, a large paint by numbers style mural funded by the City of Tigard and supported by local businesses. The Tigard Downtown Alliance partnered with artist Emily Lux to make this project a reality. TDA invited over 300 community members to paint the mural in shifts over two weekends to comply with pandemic and safety regulations. Composed of 27 panels and measuring 756 square feet, the mural is a landscape painted to resemble stained glass. Prior to installation, the site was drab, blighted, and avoided. Since installation, peripheral improvements have begun. The immediate landscaping is weeded and flowers planted with plans to improve the adjacent seating area. For the TDA, the mural is a reminder that when they work together they are stronger despite their differences.

Oregon Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards were created in 2010 to recognize the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Oregon’s historic downtowns and traditional commercial neighborhoods. 13 other towns in Oregon were honored with awards this year. 

 “2020 was a particularly challenging year on Main Street,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street.  “Our main street communities demonstrated amazing resiliency, working tirelessly to support, encourage, and nurture the people, businesses, and property owners in their communities. These awards recognize the outstanding efforts of local programs in creating and supporting projects and activities that exemplify Oregon Main Street’s mission to build equitable, livable, and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy while maintaining a sense of place.”

The wide range of awards is reflective of the comprehensive Main Street Approach™ to downtown revitalization developed by the National Main Street Center. This model is used by the communities participating in the three-tier Main Street Track of Oregon Main Street Network. From 2010 to 2020, communities participating in the Performing Main Street and Transforming Downtown levels – the top two tiers – have seen $125 million in private building improvement projects, $124.6 million in public projects, 1,347 private rehab projects, 639 net new businesses, 163 business expansions, 126 business acquisitions, and 3,961 net new jobs. In addition, 250,348 hours of volunteer time has been contributed to local main street organizations in the top tiers.

Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information, visit www.oregonmainstreet.org.

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