More than 250 businesses and community leaders from across the Pennsylvania Wilds, along with state partners and officials from Harrisburg gather annually for the PA Wilds Annual Dinner & Awards to get an update on the state and local effort to grow the region’s economy and recognize Champion of the PA Wilds Awards winners.
Each year the PA Wilds Center recognizes individuals, groups, organizations, communities, and businesses that in the last year have made significant contributions to help grow and sustainably develop the outdoor recreation economy and nature tourism in the PA Wilds by marrying economic development and conservation goals. These prestigious awards are presented at the Center’s annual dinner.
2021 PA Wilds Annual Dinner Cancelled
The in-person 2021 PA Wilds Annual Dinner originally planned for November 4 has been cancelled due to increasing cases of COVID-19. However, celebration of the winners of the 2021 PA Wilds Champion Awards will take place virtually via PA Wilds social media.
Additional details to be announced
Outstanding Leader Award
Honors a person, organization, business or elected official that has used their platform to advocate for outdoor recreation economic growth in the PA Wilds as a way to create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life.
Conservation Stewardship Award
Honors the best practices and achievements of an individual, business or organization that demonstrates a commitment to conservation and outstanding resource stewardship of the natural and cultural assets in the PA Wilds.
Great Design Award
Honors an individual, business or organization that has done outstanding work to preserve, protect or enhance an area’s rural community character and to promote the use and understanding of the PA Wilds Design Guide.
Great Places Award
Honors innovative asset development and promotion that have worked together to create an excellent new or revamped sustainable tourism destination within the PA Wilds.
Artisan of the Year Award
Honors a PA Wilds Juried Artisan who has gone above and beyond to use their medium and creativity to promote the region or help advance The Wilds Cooperative of PA.
Business of the Year Award
Honors a new or existing business owner that has taken bold steps to grow their business in a way that embodies what it means to marry conservation and economic development and to offer an authentic experience or product to visitors and residents.
Inspiring Youth Award
Honors an adult or youth who has made outstanding contributions to involve young people in the work to grow the region’s outdoor recreation economy and to conserve its unparalleled natural and cultural resource assets.
Event of the Year Award
Recognizes a festival, race, art show or other local or regional event in the PA Wilds which through its quality and authenticity and use of the PA Wilds brand has become a regional attraction that is having a positive economic and social impact on the area.
Best Brand Ambassador
Honors an organization or individual who has made significant contributions to promoting and developing the PA Wilds brand through logo use, place name recognition, branded product development, storytelling, event or experience packaging or similar efforts.
Member of the Year Award
(This award is not open for public nomination)
Honors individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the work of the PA Wilds Planning Team.
2019 PA Wilds Annual Dinner & Awards - A Rural Development Hub
Photo Credits: Mickayla Poland / PA Made LLC for the PA Wilds Center
Photo Credits: Tracy Smith / Sixty Foot Films for the PA Wilds Center
Read About Past PA Wilds Champions