The City of Galesburg and stewardship team of Galesburg on Track (GOT) have plans to restructure and resurrect a longtime monthly award given out to local property owners.

Galesburg’s Community Development Department facilitated the monthly Community Blue Ribbon Awards, designed to recognize owners for improvements made to their properties in the city.

According to the City, this program has been inactive for many years.

Local organization Heart & Soul reached out to the City to help “breathe new life into this important community initiative that highlights citizen efforts to reflect a positive town image,” a news release says.

Community Development Director Steve Gugliotta supports the change in the award program and says he’s looking forward revitalizing it.

“We look forward to partnership with the Galesburg on Track Stewardship Team on this project,” said Gugliotta. “The exterior enhancements made by residential property owners have a positive impact on the neighborhood and overall community. Their efforts should be recognized.”

The Community Blue Ribbon Award focuses on improvements made to residential properties within city limits.

Improvements can be functional or aesthetic in nature and should promote a positive overall image of the neighborhood.

Examples include updates to structures, landscaping and general cleanup of the property.

The Community Blue Ribbon Award does not include the PAVER Award program that is facilitated by the Landmark Commission and recognizes improvements on historic properties in Galesburg.

“We learned through the Galesburg on Track process that our community values its image,” said Deborah Moreno, a team member. “Many who’ve lived here for generations maintain and upgrade Galesburg’s historic homes and neighborhoods to celebrate our heritage. When town pride shines through, new residents and businesses are attracted to our community. Reinvigorating our Blue Ribbon Awards will be a win-win endeavor for all.”

The award, aimed at residential properties, will be rotated through the seven city wards and announced by that ward’s council person during closing comments at the first City Council meeting of each month.

Nominate a property owner by filling out this form or contacting any Galesburg on Track members.

Award recipients will be selected by the Galesburg on Track Stewardship Team to receive a certificate of appreciation and have the Blue Ribbon sign and Heart & Soul town image banner placed at their property.

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Mayor Peter Schwartzman and Community Development Director Steve Gugliotta join members of the Galesburg on Track Stewardship Team to kick off the restructured Community Blue Ribbon Awards. (Photo courtesy of the City of Galesburg)