The city of Leavenworth is one of 11 winners in the state's 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Awards. 

The awards single out local governments and their partners for exceptional land use planning and development. 

Leavenworth is being recognized for transforming itself from severe economic depression in the early 1960's into a thriving community with its landmark Bavarian Village tourist destination. 

The University of Washington's Project LIFE self-help program is also being credited with assisting Leavenworth residents in turning the city around. 

In 1968, Leavenworth was one of 11 cities to receive the All-America City Award from Look Magazine and the National Municipal League. 

A news release from the State Department of Commerce says the Project LIFE program developed slowly through a community partnership focused on town values.  

"It took vision, planning and project implementation to produce Project LIFE and save one of our state’s landmark destinations," the release states. 

Leavenworth received a Judge's Merit Award in the 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Awards. 

The awards are meant to showcase the effective implementation of the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA). 

According to the news release, the honored local programs and projects serve as leading examples for other communities as they seek to address similar land use planning issues or look for inspiration and creative ideas. 

The Governor’s Smart Communities Awards have been awarded since 2006. 

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