York County Wins Four National Association of Counties Achievement Awards
June 4, 2020
Four York County programs have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs. This year's winners are:
Yorktown Trolley: Riding With Technology
Since its first trip through the historic area in 1999, the Yorktown Trolley has seen ridership numbers increase from 13,000 to 95,000 twenty years later. Over the past two decades, the Trolley has expanded to include several vehicles that provide visitors to Yorktown with an easy means of travel to attractions. With such growth in activity, the number of inquiries increased for exact pick-up and drop-off locations, wait times at specific areas, and what businesses and amenities were located near each stop. To address riders' needs, the county partnered with ETA Transit for the ETA SPOT system that includes a mobile app and a website that providing customers with resources to answer all of these questions: an interactive map tracking the Trolley in real time with an estimated time of arrival for each individual stop, as well as information about each stop and available amenities. ETA Spot also includes an infotainment system. LCD monitors located throughout the trolleys display a custom playlist of videos, images, and graphics which highlight area attractions, shopping options, dining opportunities, and upcoming special events. The Yorktown Trolley has become an important part of the historic town and many visitors hop on board to ride comfortably to one of our great museums and historical sites, to learn about history, and to enjoy the scenery. For additional details about this award-winning program, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/awards.
Partners for Pollinators
Over the past two years, the York River Academy (YRA) Greenhouse Team, York County Beautification Committee, and the County's Waste Management Division have been working together on community initiatives. In 2019, the YRA Greenhouse Team was asked by the Beautification Committee and Waste Management Division to design a native plant garden to be located at the Waste Management Administrative Facility, capable of producing and sustaining pollinators. The students developed a plan for the garden, to include a pollinator-supporting plant list and rendering of the proposed garden. The Beautification Committee submitted a grant application to askHRgreen.org and received a $500 grant to purchase materials to plant the garden. Native plants were purchased and planted in the spring. In summer 2019, the Demonstration Garden was registered as a Monarch Waystation and Waste Management staff recognized that Monarch Butterflies started laying eggs on the milkweed plants. The staff raised the caterpillars and released the viable butterflies later in the year. Additional plans are being discussed by the YRA Greenhouse Team, Beautification, and Waste Management Division. For additional details about this award-winning program, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/awards.
Citizen Cyber Security
This program was developed to help citizens and local businesses become better knowledgeable about cyber risks and to minimize the danger. The highest risk target of cyber criminals is citizens over the age of 55. Believing the best way to share this information was via in-person presentation, staff of Information Technology built a cyber security program that is not overly-technical and is provided as three phases: first, a one-hour in-person program that presents the dangers of cybercrime; next, an interactive question and answer session; and finally, direction to the County's website that contains detailed instructions on how to reduce the risk of cybercrime or resources to utilize in case they become victim to an electronic scheme or theft. Over a year's time, several hundred individuals have participated in one of these sessions with requests for additional presentations received by the County. To view one of these presentations, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/cyber. For additional details about this award-winning program, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/awards.
Wormley Creek Landing Facility Enhancements: Accessibility for All
York County has over 200 miles of shoreline. However, the majority of the shoreline is in federal or private holdings, with public water access limited to a few locations. And of these locations, none provided boat launch ability for our disabled citizens. Until last year when York County Parks and Recreation installed a special kayak launch that enables those with a disability to enjoy the scenic waterways of our locality. With grant funds received from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and additional monies from the County, Wormley Creek Landing was expanded to include a boardwalk, floating dock, and canoe/kayak launch that are all ADA accessible. Improvement were made to the facility's parking lot as well. The kayak launch has been well received by members of the community and those from nearby cities. For additional details about this award-winning program, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/awards.
NACo Achievement Awards are given in 18 different categories, including: children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement, and many more. For more information on NACo and the awards program, visit www.NACo.org.