Mansfield wins award in local government for Storrs Center

The 13th annual celebrate mansfield festival took place in and around the newly named Betsy Patterson square in Storrs center on Sunday afternoon. Events included a massive parade, food stands, games and performances by Air Traffic Controller, Bronze Radio Return, the E.O. Smith Band and various other organizations. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Mansfield’s town manager hopes the “Crown Community” award will inspire more people to visit Storrs Center, recently earned by the town for its Storrs Center project from local government publication American City & County.

“This [Crown Community] annual award is presented to several local governments across the United States for execution of the most innovative and impressive community projects,” according to a statement released by Mansfield. “Projects submitted to American City & County for award consideration are judged by uniqueness and value to the community, as well as effective financing.”

Mansfield applied for the award in late November, Mansfield Downtown Partnership executive director Cynthia van Zelm said.

American City & County published the winners in its December edition, Hart added.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by our peers from around the country. [American City & County] is a major publication for local government,” Hart said. “[The Storrs Center project] took a lot of effort. It was a community effort over 17 or 18 years.”

According to van Zelm, Storrs Center previously accumulated other distinctions in areas including community consensus building and construction. Storrs Center was also listed as one of 22 finalists for a worldwide Urban Land Institute award last year.

“[Storrs Center] is so unique. It built downtown from the ground up,” van Zelm said.

Hart said the creation of Storrs Center has substantially benefitted Mansfield.

“The most significant impact Storrs Center has had on Mansfield is as the center for community life, when you look at town square, the events we can host there, the activity on a regular day in the square with people taking lunch breaks and hanging out in the evening,” Hart said.

The town will publicize its Crown Community award, Hart said.

“We hope [the Crown Community award] helps to bring traffic downtown. It’s good publicity for Storrs Center. We want people coming to check us out as a community,” Hart said. “It’s nice to receive this honor. Only a handful of communities around the country are recognized annually.”


Alexandra Retter is staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at alexandra.retter@uconn.edu.