Our Great Region Awards

Recognizing outstanding projects in the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s 13-county region that advance the goals and strategies outlined in the Our Great Region 2040 plan, the Award program was established in 2016 to celebrate projects offering effective solutions and new opportunities.

  • The Connection Award honors a project that advances two or more of the plan’s strategies through innovative partnerships.
  • The Diligence Award honors an implemented project that executed a creative and tenacious project approach to overcome challenges to implementation.
  • The Reach Award honors a project that demonstrates exemplary public participation.
  • The Opportunity Award honors a project that helps to overcome disparities in access to opportunity.
  • The Excellence Award is the highest honor bestowed in the Our Great Region Awards, recognizing projects that are best advancing the vision of the Our Great Region 2040 plan in urban, rural, suburban, and coastal areas of our region.



How to Apply

The application period for 2019 has closed. Check back in November for the publication of the Awards Showcase. The 2020 application period will be announced.

For your reference, an application guide, including category-specific questions, is available for download.


Why Apply

Applying for the Our Great Region Award creates a record of an organization’s achievements. Winning the Our Great Region Award allows an organization’s project to serve as a model for other projects in the region.Winning the Our Great Region Award earns an organization positive recognition and prestige.



Plans, programs, projects, or policies that have furthered or implemented a Big Idea of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13 county region in the past 3 years are eligible for submission. Plans, programs, projects or policies shall be referred to simply as ‘projects’ in the remainder of the application package but eligibility is not limited to projects.

The 13 county region is composed of the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Walker, and Wharton.

Any organization may apply for the awards. Organizations include but are not limited to cities, counties, other units of local governments, nonprofits, educational institutions, private businesses, and community groups.


Awards Showcase

Learn More About Our Great Region Awards Winners

2019 Showcase

2018 Showcase

2017 Showcase

2016 Showcase


Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the background of the Awards

Q: Who is sponsoring the award program?
A: The Houston-Galveston Area Council is sponsoring the award program.

Q: What is the H-GAC 13-county region?
A: The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s service area consists of 13 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Walker and Wharton

Questions about the Awards Process

Q: Is there a cash prize for winning an award?
A: This awards program does not include any monetary prizes. Winning applications will be honored at an awards ceremony and will receive a plaque.

Q: Is there a fee to apply for an award?
A: There is no fee to apply for the Our Great Region Awards.

Q: When is the award ceremony and is attendance at the ceremony mandatory?
A: The award ceremony is tentatively scheduled for November 1, 2019. Confirmation of award ceremony timing will be posted on the award site as soon as it is available. While not mandatory, it is highly encouraged that winning organizations attend the award ceremony.

Questions about Award Eligibility

Q: Can an individual apply for the award for their personal work in their community?
A: No. Only organizations are eligible to apply for the awards.

Q: Can an organization apply for more than one award?
A: Yes, An organization may apply to more than one award category and may submit multiple applications if they have more than one project they would like to submit

Q: Must the entire project be located within the H-GAC 13-county region? What if part of the project is in the region and part of it is outside the region?
A: The entire project area must be located within the H-GAC 13-county region to be eligible.

Q: Does the organization submitting the application need to be located in the H-GAC 13-county region?
A: No, only the project needs to be located within the H-GAC 13-county region.

Questions about Application Submittal Process

Q: Will I be able to start my application, save it, and come back to it?
A: No. Once you begin the application you must complete it or you will lose your work. It is recommended that you complete all the sections in a Word document and cut and paste into the application when you are ready to submit.

Q: Will I get a copy of the application once it has been submitted?
A: Yes. An email will be sent to the applicant with a full account of what was submitted.

Q: May I withdraw an application once it has been submitted?
A: Yes. To withdraw an application, send an email to contact person listed on the Our Great Region 2040 site.

Q: If I submit an incomplete application or an ineligible application will I be contacted before the application close date?
A: No. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the submittal is complete and eligible. All incomplete and ineligible applicants will be notified after the closing date.

Questions about the Awards Application Questions

Q: What is the narrative? Should it only include text or can it include images?
A: The narrative is a short description of the project including what the project entailed, who was involved in the project, and how the project advances one or more of the Big Ideas and the vision of the Our Great Region 2040 plan. Responses can be up to 500 words. Please submit 3 to 5 pictures of your project in jpg format along with your narrative.

Q: What are the Big Ideas and where can they be found?
A: The Big Ideas are the 6 overarching Ideas or goals of the OurGreatRegion 2040 Plan. They can be found at the top of pages of Page 6 – 16 of the plan.

Q: What is meant by strategies in the application?
A: The strategies support achieving the Big Ideas in the Our Great Region 2040 Plan. They can be found with the corresponding Big Ideas on pages of Page 6 – 16 of the plan. They are also listed in the plan on pages 22-33.

Q: If I am applying for the Excellence Award will I have to complete the same questions two times?
A: If applying for the Excellence Award you will select at least two awards and complete the general award information only once and the category-specific information for each award. Only one narrative that addresses the components of both awards is needed. If one of the awards you select for the Excellence Award is the Connection Award you will see a question about what strategies from the Our Great Region 2040 plan your project advances appear twice. Feel free to insert the same answer both times for this question.

Q: What is the FHEA?
A: The Fair Housing Equity Assessment is both a part of the Our Great Region 2040 plan and a stand-alone document that provides baseline conditions regarding fair housing, equity, and opportunity across our region. The FHEA examines how to reach the goal of creating opportunity for all residents—that is, making all areas in the region areas of high opportunity.

Q: Where did the opportunity elements from the Opportunity Award come from?
A: The opportunity elements were derived from the FHEA’s goals. The FHEA’s goals examine how to create communities of high opportunity.


Our Great Region 2040
Houston-Galveston Area Council

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