Waterloo project wins Governor’s Hometown Award

Pictured during the award presentation, from left, are Lori Stenzel of Illinois American Water; Marcia Doyle from the City of Waterloo; an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity representative; Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith and Sarah Deutch from the City of Waterloo. (submitted photo)

Governor Pat Quinn last week announced winners of the 31st annual Governor’s Hometown Awards, which are presented to recognize volunteers for their work in improving communities.

Waterloo was among this year’s recipients, picking up an award in the 5,001 to 10,000 population category for its recent spring beautification project outside the Bellefontaine House.

Award recipients are selected by volunteer judges who review and rank applications based on a variety of factors, including local need, volunteer participation, use of resources and results achieved. The projects are judged within their population categories as well as within their assigned project categories.

Bellefontaine House in Waterloo is the first American settlement in Illinois. It is the birthplace of Monroe County. The spring outside the house received a facelift in preparation for the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked” at the history museum, located near the Bellefontaine House.

Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith partnered with community groups including Boy Scouts, Master Gardeners with the University of Illinois Extension, the Monroe County Historical Society and local 4-H and FFA members, along with donations from the Waterloo Lions Club, Odd Fellows and Farm Credit Services, for this project.

In addition to the clearing of brush to help with the spring’s water flow, trees and flowers were planted and a cedar bridge was built across the stream.

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