Region Five Development Commission based in Staples, has received a 2017

Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace.

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Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace is a newly constructed 20,000-square-foot local food processing facility, cooking demonstration kitchen and indoor winter marketplace for growers and makers, established by a cadre of thinkers over the last six years who hosted its grand opening April 1, 2016. Sprout Marketplace offers a unique community engagement setting that creatively engages residents to design projects and intrinsic/social programming at a one-of- a-kind regional space where art/culture/food increase cultural appreciation and offer positive economic impacts.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. The association's Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation's regions and local communities.

This year marked NADO's 50-year anniversary of supporting regional economic development across the country.

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO's 2017 Annual Training Conference, held

Sept. 9-12 in Anchorage. The 2017 class of award recipients consists of 80 projects spanning 21 states. These projects are presented in an interactive "Story Map" developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners. The Story Map is available online at:

"The Innovation Awards program is an opportunity to recognize the important work of regional

development organizations that are promoting economic development and improving quality of life for local residents," said 2016-2017 NADO President Lynne Keller Forbes, in a news release. Forbes is executive director of the South Eastern Council of Governments, located in Sioux Falls, S.D. "These projects demonstrate the diversity of work that regional development organizations undertake to benefit the communities and regions that they serve."

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Dawn Espe, regional development planner,

Since 1967 the National Association of Development Organizations has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.