By The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is accepting entries for the state's 31st Annual Hometown Awards.
Local governments, schools and youth groups are among the several local entities eligible to submit applications for the awards. The awards are given in six different categories: services and mentorship, beautification and sustainability, parks and recreation, memorials and monuments, history and historic preservation, and general projects.
Applications are available on the department's website. Submission deadline is July 15. The winners will attend a reception at the Governor's Mansion this fall.
Gov. Pat Quinn says the awards recognize local volunteers and organizations that are enhancing the quality of life for everyday people across Illinois.
Previous winners include an urban farm and apiary on a hospital's parking lot rooftop.