Costa Mesa picks up two awards

Costa Mesa was recently recognized for its Fairview Park wetlands project and Neighborhood Improvement Task Force.

The two awards from the Assn. of California Cities-Orange County, of which Costa Mesa is a member, were in the environmental quality/community sustainability and planning/community development categories.

Councilwoman Wendy Leece accepted the awards on behalf of the city during the second annual Golden Hub of Innovation Awards on June 27, according to a city news release.

The projects had to have been approved, implemented, completed or initiated between May 2012 and May 2013, according to the association's website. A judging committee chose the winners from the submissions.

"We are pleased to be recognized as an innovator in Orange County," city CEO Tom Hatch said in a prepared statement. "These two projects show that Costa Mesa is a leader in problem solving: whether it's the creation of a beautiful wetlands that also acts as a natural filter for urban runoff or the establishment of a broad-based task force to address long-term challenges in our community, such as the problems associated with homelessness and some motels."

The Fairview Park project, officially known as Wetlands & Riparian Habitat, takes up 37 acres within the 208-acre Westside park. The more than $5-million project was officially opened in February and includes streams, filtration ponds and walking trails.

The Neighborhood Improvement Task Force, formed last year, addresses city issues such as homelessness and crime associated with motels. Its members include city officials from several departments and members of the Costa Mesa Police Department.

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