POULTNEY Several of Vermonts local downtown revitalization groups have been honored by the state for their work in making the states downtowns vibrant places to live, work, and shop. The Green Mountain Awards were part of the Vermont Downtown Programs annual Downtown Conference Tuesday which celebrated 10 years of revitalizing Vermont communities in Montpelier. This was the first time the Vermont Downtown Program paid tribute these unsung heroes of community revitalization for all of their hard work and dedication, said Joss Besse, Director of the Downtown Program. The program received so many worthy nominations that it was difficult even narrow it down to finalists. In addition to providing training, technical assistance, and administering grant and tax credit programs, the Downtown Program, part of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs, also oversees designation of downtowns and village centers. To become a Designated Downtown, communities must have both a downtown revitalization organization and demonstrate their commitment and capacity to support such a program, as well as meet several other requirements. Village Centers go through a similar, but abbreviated process. The Best Public Space Improvements award went to the Poultney Streetscape Improvement Project. Construction for the project began in the summer of 2004 and was completed in the fall of 2006. Several partners were involved with this downtown project including the town, the Downtown Poultney Revitalization Committee, Green Mountain College and the Poultney Board of Trustees. These partners decided that downtown needed a face lift and began work on replacing sidewalks, curbing, adding ornamental sidewalk lighting and installing 41 classic sidewalk lights with poster arms, planter arms, GFI outlets land energy-efficient metal halide lighting and controls. All of this resulted in the appearance of Downtown Poultney area substantially improved, promoting a more vibrant and desirable community for development and infill of under-utilized businesses along Main Street.