Painted Prairie Named the National Community of the Year

Press Release

Civitas’ design and planning of Painted Prairie in Aurora, Colorado takes the Gold for ‘Community of the Year’ and ‘Best Landscape of a Community’ at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s The National Awards Competition

Painted Prairie

Aurora, Colorado — March 17, 2022 Painted Prairie, a new neighborhood in Aurora, Colorado, has been awarded Gold for Community of the Year and Best Landscape of a Community at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s annual awards competition. The neighborhood’s landscape and planning was ideated and completed by the internationally-recognized design firm, Civitas.

Painted Prairie won a total of seven awards at the NAHB’s most prestigious competition known as, The Nationals which were presented at the International Builder Show in February in Orlando, Florida.

Civitas’ master plan for Painted Prairie includes 30-acres of open space across seven parks, each featuring native landscapes and plants from the Colorado plains. With a community-wide emphasis on shared spaces, the parks will include playgrounds, dog parks, gathering spaces, trails, community gardens, and art installations. A central town center will also include outdoor gathering spaces for concerts, movie nights, and markets, along with a mix of retail, restaurants, and hotels.

“The team’s commitment to sustainable development, community building, and environmental stewardship create a deep and long-lasting sense of community that differentiates Painted Prairie from conventional suburban neighborhoods and sets new standards for future development,” said Civitas Principal, Craig Vickers, RLA. “Our approach is inspired by decades-old, often pre-war urban neighborhoods, where you find eclectic house sizes and styles, diverse demographics, walkable amenities, and green spaces coming together in an intentional-yet-organic way. This integration sparks a real sense of participation and pride, and generates long-term resilience – creating places where people want to live and stay.”

Through landscape design and art throughout Painted Prairie, Civitas tells stories of what’s native and what’s been brought to Colorado, and how people have connected with the land – the prairie – over generations. For example, in one of the parks that features a shade pavilion and barbecue amenity, a local artist has been commissioned to carve abstract images of native grasses, antelope and prairie chickens, and other native symbology into squares of Coreten steel, resembling a Colorado quilt block pattern.

Painted Prairie

“To be recognized locally, and now nationally as the Community of the Year is a tremendous honor,” says Chris Fellows, President of Painted Prairie. “Out of nearly 1,200 entries to take home seven awards at a competition of this caliber is incredible. We are extremely honored and humbled to be named Community of the Year and to bring this best-in-class community to the City of Aurora – and the state of Colorado for our current and future residents.”

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