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Heritage Center earns county national honor

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's Environmental and Heritage Center has won the county government top honors with the National Association of Counties' Sustainable Communities Award.

The Buford center focused on educating children and the public about conservation opened last year. A partnership between the county government, the local school system and the University of Georgia, the center was designed to not only teach but also exemplify environmental principles and energy efficiency.

"It is our hope that the national awards will spotlight your communities' great achievements and inspire others across the country to explore similar strategies to develop vibrant and sustainable communities," said Eric Coleman, an Oakland County, Mich., commissioner who is serving as the association's president. "I commend everyone who was involved in developing these outstanding community partnerships."

Gwinnett officials will be recognized during a reception this winter in Washington, D.C.

Nine other projects were chosen for the 2006-07 awards, including Boulder County, Colo., Charleston County, S.C., Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties, N.C., Hartford, Cecil and Baltimore counties, Md., Lake County, Ill., Louisville-Jefferson County, Ky., Morrow County, Ohio, Prince George's County, Md., and Woodbury County, Iowa.