Envision Award

Visi award certificate Do you know someone who has a vision for making Golden Valley a better place and who is making that vision a reality? Or someone who is making a difference in our city’s quality of life? If so, nominate that person for a Golden Valley Envision Award.

The Envision Connection Project Board of Directors will review nominations quarterly and present a GOLDEN VISI to groups and individuals. Winners will be recognized at Golden Valley City Council meetings and in City publications.

Nominations are due by the first of the month in February, May, August, and November for award the following month. Nominations may come from individuals who live outside the city, but nominees must either live, work, or play in Golden Valley. The Envision Connection Project Board members may solicit and/or submit nominations.

Nomination Process

If you know of a project or initiative that merits recognition, fill out the online VISI nomination form (or download and mail the VISI nomination print form ) about who should be recognized, what was done, and how their project benefited Golden Valley.

Nominated projects must:

  • exemplify the Envision Golden Valley initiative
  • add to the quality of life in Golden Valley
  • connect people/strengthen the community’s social network
  • show a sense of community ownership
  • be purposeful (wouldn’t have happened in the normal course of events)
  • further one of the six Envision categories (Development, Transportation, Community Engagement, Environment, Recreation, and Government)

For a complete overview of Envision, read "A Shared Vision For Golden Valley's Future".

You can also get involved through Bridge Builders, the Envision Connection Project's citizen engagement tool.

Past Award Recipients

Kristine Frey and Leslie Hendricks, Market in the Valley (2013)

Golden Valley Garden ClubThe Envision Award was presented April 16, 2013 to Kristine Frey and Leslie Hendricks for their vision to build community, strengthen the local economy, and revitalize the city center through creation of Market in the Valley.

Their Contribution

By taking the initiative, in 2011, to open Market in the Valley, Kristine Frey and Leslie Hendricks have brought vitality to the heart of Golden Valley and strengthened our local economy in ways that exemplify the best of the Envision process while creating a vibrant and caring sense of community spirit.

Their founding mission says it all: “Market in the Valley will be a community-oriented, outdoor farmers’ market focused on bringing local, healthy food, homemade crafts, and the arts to Golden Valley and surrounding areas. Market in the Valley will provide a strong foundation for continued city center revitalization and community bonding.”

Golden Valley Garden Club (2012)

Golden Valley Garden ClubThe Envision Award was presented August 8, 2012 to the Golden Valley Garden Club for its vision to beautify Golden Valley by planting flowers in public places and its dedication to conserving natural resources by encouraging all forms of home or community gardening.

Its Contribution

Founded in 1939, the Golden Valley Garden Club is the oldest active organization in the community. One of its first projects was planting lilacs along Hwy 100, which contributed to the highway becoming known as “Lilac Way” and was celebrated with Golden Valley’s annual “Lilac Festival.”

Today, the club includes daytime and evening units. It meets monthly and raises money to support community efforts, such as planting annuals and perennials along Winnetka Avenue North and in front of City Hall, hosting free gardening classes through the City’s Park and Recreation Department, providing volunteers to weed the public rights-of-way along Winnetka Avenue South and help with planting and maintenance for the City’s annual Lilac Planting Project, and hosting lunch for Lilac Project volunteers.

Don Anderson (2011)

Don AndersonThe Envision Award was presented October 18, 2011 to Don Anderson for his outstanding and inspiring work as a community volunteer and his leadership during Envision Golden Valley.

His Contribution

For more than 20 years, Don Anderson has worked tirelessly for numerous Golden Valley causes and successfully urged others to join in. Many programs driving Golden Valley’s future and honoring its past bear his fingerprints.

Envision Golden Valley, the community’s resoundingly successful visioning process, continues to influence the direction Golden Valley is taking today. As co-chair of the Envision steering committee, Anderson was instrumental in bringing hundreds of citizens together to share their desires for the city’s future. He then followed through by leading and participating in several Envision initiatives to make these visions a reality.

Anderson has also been a guiding light for the Golden Valley Historical Society, helping increase membership significantly and helping preserve the city’s oldest church building as the organization’s headquarters and future museum.

Combined with his work on City boards and groups like the Golden Valley Rotary, Anderson’s service has helped shape his community for the greater good.

Kelly Drive Pumpkin Growers Association Founding Members (2010)

Kelly Drive foundersThe Envision Award was presented Oct 5, 2010, to George and Calista Abide, Karl and Nancy Cambronne, and Jon and Sheila Horkey for their vision to strengthen community and unite neighbors through creation of the Kelly Drive Pumpkin Growers Association and its successful annual Pumpkin Festival.

Their Contribution

Since founding the Kelly Drive Pumpkin Growers Association in 1997, the Abides, Cambrones, and Horkeys have also grown their vision to strengthen their community and to bring neighbors and children together.

For the past 14 years, with the treasured contributions of many others, they have seeded their neighborhood with giant pumpkins and staged the Kelly Drive Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Party, which annually attracts 1,000 people from Golden Valley and neighboring communities. This festive event includes a neighborhood-owned-tractor-driven hay ride, a pony circle for children, free lunch, a Golden Valley fire truck, free pumpkins for all who attend, and culminates with a giant pumpkin weigh-off, complete with “da judge.” This delightful gathering has enlivened Golden Valley, fortified neighborhood bonds, and continues to serve as a model to inspire others.

Marion Helland (2010)

Marion HellandThe Envision Award was presented Sept 21, 2010, to Marion Helland for her dedication to human rights and her inspiring work with the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission.

Her Contribution

Golden Valley has benefitted from Helland’s lifelong dedication to fighting discrimination and enhancing human rights. Helland developed a passion for civil rights through her work as an activist in Alabama, Mississippi, and Washington, DC in the 1960s. She extended that passion to benefit the Golden Valley community, working on diversity curriculum in the Robbinsdale School District and serving for more than 25 years on Golden Valley’s Human Rights Commission.

Helland started the Human Rights Commission Essay Contest in 1998, working with Golden Valley educators and youth to promote thoughtful consideration of human rights issues. The contest asks youth to recommend solutions on resolving concerns and working out potential conflicts without violence. Initiated at Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley, the essay contest has since been introduced by other Human Rights Commissions to the Plymouth and Wayzata Middle Schools. Essays from these contests are then entered in the statewide Human Rights Essay Contest.

Golden Valley Community Events Fund Founding Members (2009)

GVCEF founding membersThe Envision Award was presented Oct 20, 2009, to Scott Grayson, Don Keysser, Peter Knaeble, Anna Silverman, and Luke Weisberg for outstanding and inspiring work envisioning and organizing the Golden Valley Arts & Music Festival.

Their Contribution

Five community members joined their vision for an annual community festival to create the Golden Valley Arts and Music Festival in 2004.

For the past six years, these five people have provided leadership and welcomed others to expand on the original vision. The event has included musical performances, artist vendors, dancing, picnicking, a parade, fireworks, classic cars, community booths, biking, a bonfire, food, and related events sponsored by others. Serving as the board of the Golden Valley Community Events Fund, these five have spearheaded efforts to attract funds for the festival and draw the community to the event.

Dwight Townes (2009)

Dwight TownesThe Envision Award was presented to Dwight Towns Aug 5, 2009, for outstanding and inspiring work envisioning and organizing the Lilac Planting Project.

His Contribution

Townes had a vision to plant the signature lilacs of Golden Valley along Hwy 55, from one end of the city to the other. He succeeded, combining state and local resources to conceive, plan, and coordinate the Hwy 55 Lilac Planting Project.

The project began in 2006 and culminated with the first phase in October 2008, when more than 80 volunteers planted lilac trees and other vegetation in designated areas on both sides of Hwy 55 between General Mills Blvd and Winnetka Ave. Future planting parties will carry the vision forward in segments toward Golden Valley’s eastern border.