champion awardsMore 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 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 dinner.

2022 PA Wilds Dinner + Awards
Registration Now Open!

The PA Wilds Dinner & Awards will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at the Bald Birds Brewing Company in Jersey Shore, PA.

Registrations due by 11 PM ET on July 20, 2022.

2018 PA Wilds Annual Dinner & Awards, Pajama Factory (Williamsport, Lycoming County)

Nominate a Champion for 2023!

There are nine award categories open for public nominations. Find the nomination forms below.
All nominations for 2022 Awards were due by 5:00 PM EST Friday, April 1, 2022.
Nominations submitted after 5:00 PM EST Friday, April 1, 2022 will be considered for 2023 PA Wilds Champion Awards.


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 Award

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.

Photo Galleries

2019 PA Wilds Annual Dinner & Awards - A Rural Development Hub

2019 PA Wilds Dinner & Awards – The PA Wilds: A Rural Development Hub

Photo Credits: Mickayla Poland / PA Made LLC for the PA Wilds Center

2018 PA Wilds Dinner & Awards - Celebrating 15 Years: The Wilds at Work

2018 PA Wilds Dinner & Awards - Celebrating 15 Years - the Wilds at Work

Photo Credits: Tracy Smith / Sixty Foot Films for the PA Wilds Center

Read About Past PA Wilds Champions

2021 PA Wilds Champions

2019 PA Wilds Champions

2018 PA Wilds Champions

2017 PA Wilds Champions

2016 PA Wilds Champions

Champions of PA Wilds Past Award Winners 2010-2015