Central Pines Regional Council is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the recipient of two Aliceann Wohlbruck NADO Impact Awards. The annual Impact Awards program recognizes NADO members for their innovative approaches to advancing regional economic development and improving quality of life. These awards highlight the significant impact made by Central Pines on the region it serves and demonstrate the diverse range of services and programs provided by regional development organizations across the country.

Out of 108 projects from 71 organizations in 28 states, Central Pines Regional Council stood out in two categories: Environment & Sustainability, and Transportation. These exceptional projects will be recognized at NADO's Annual Training Conference in Cleveland, OH, in November.

Solarize the Triangle

Solar panels on house

In the Environment & Sustainability category, Central Pines' Solarize the Triangle program was recognized for its outstanding collaboration and community-based group-purchasing approach to solar energy, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies. By enabling homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits to access discounts on materials and installation services, Solarize the Triangle promotes resilience, energy cost reduction, and the adoption of renewable energy systems.

The campaign, launched in August 2022, brought together 11 participating communities, and resulted in over 1,500 property evaluations. The installations not only saved 3.25 million tons of carbon but also generated $5.98 million in local economic activity, and added 1,731 kilowatts of clean energy to the regional grid system.

Project Partners: Chatham County, City of Raleigh, Durham County, City of Durham, Town of Cary, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Hillsborough, Town of Carrboro, Town of Apex, Town of Morrisville, Orange County, Solar CrowdSource, YES Solar Solutions

Equity & Inclusion Pilot Transportation Demand Management Project

little girl with bicycles in the background

In the Transportation category, Central Pines' Equity & Inclusion Pilot Transportation Demand Management (TDM) project garnered recognition for its innovative approach to providing alternate transportation options in equity-priority communities. This initiative focused on supporting low-income, marginalized, minority, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as other disadvantaged or vulnerable groups. Central Pines collaborated with regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to secure $200,000 in special funding for the pilot effort.

By simplifying the grant application process and providing extensive coaching, the initiative funded six organizations, with four successfully reapplying in the 2024 funding cycle. The grants have had a tangible impact on reducing personal out-of-pocket expenses, enhancing engagement, and expanding outreach in the respective communities. This project exemplifies the transformative power of deliberate practices and support, fostering stronger partnerships and promoting inclusive growth and robust infrastructure development in the region.

Project Partners: Arise Collective, Oaks and Spokes, Black Girls Do Bike, Southeast Raleigh Promise, Empower All Inc., Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHCMPO) and NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

About NADO

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) is a 501(c)4 membership organization that represents the interests of regional community and economic development practitioners. Established in 1967, NADO advocates for federal policies and programs that promote equitable community development, economic competitiveness, rural development, economic mobility, and quality of place. NADO represents a national network of more than 500 Regional Development Organizations (RDOs) across the country.

NADO Website