The Missouri chapter of the American Planning Association recently named Maryville one of three Great Places in Missouri, giving Maryville the Great Street of Missouri award for its Fourth Street renovations.

Each year, the association honors one winner in each of three categories including great public space, great street and great neighborhood. Maryville city officials will accept the award on February 1 in Jefferson City at the State Capitol Rotunda.

The program began in 2014 with the intent to recognize the exceptional quality and planning that goes into public spaces, streets and neighborhoods which in turn encourages economic growth.

Maryville’s Fourth Street corridor consists of six blocks connecting the city’s downtown area to Northwest Missouri State University. Renovations to the area were identified as a critical need in 2012. Updates included landscaping, safety lighting, old-fashioned light fixtures, trail extensions, a gateway sign arching over the roadway and bearcat paw prints.

With the exception of decorative pole lights, construction was completed in 2015. City officials stated that if funds become available, the lighting may be completed in the future.

The street has been the site of numerous community events including parades, farmer’s markets and other special events.

“We are honored to receive the recognition for the Great Place in Missouri for the Fourth Street corridor. It reflects the strong relationship between Northwest and the city,” Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said.

To be considered for the award, city officials submitted an application for review. Some of the award requirements included making sure the street accommodated not only motorists, but also pedestrians and cyclists. The design needed to allow for an influx of tourists for special events, have few vacant lots and be connected to public spaces. The architecture of adjourning buildings was evaluated.

Amy Goecken, owner of The Student Body which sells Bearcat and Spoofhound apparel, stated that she moved The Student Body to Fourth Street when updates were beginning to be discussed. She said the new location and renovations have improved store visibility which has increased business.