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Innovation Awards
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2020 Innovation Award Application  - Apply now starting Dec. 2, 2019 and closing March 2, 2020

The Innovation Awards program showcases municipal programs or projects that have been successfully implemented and demonstrate new approaches for solving municipal challenges. It may also serve as a model for other communities.

To enter, a municipality must be a member of the Missouri Municipal League. Only one program per city will be considered. Joint or multi-city projects are welcome (population category  will  be  based  on  the  largest  city  in  the  project). Nominated programs or projects must be completed or well established.

The awards will be given in five categories: 
• Extra Large (population more than 30,000)
• Large (population 15,000 to 30,000)
• Medium (population 5,000 to 15,000)
• Small (population under 5,000)
• Member’s Choice (all nominees are eligible and all members are welcome to vote)

Good luck and we look forward to seeing the great projects and programs that have been implemented in your municipality!

Congratulations to the 2019 MML Innovation Award Winners! 

City of Springfield (Extra Large City, with population more than 30,000)
Give 5 Civic Matchmaking Program

The Give 5 program is a first-of-its-kind civic matchmaking initiative matching retirees and seniors with volunteer opportunities with the following objectives: connect each program graduate with one or more strategic volunteer opportunities in the community that feeds their passion and provides a renewed sense of purpose and meaning; address social isolation; strengthen the community’s fabric by increasing “bridging” social capital in the community; help program graduates discover the community legacy they want to leave; and re-engineer volunteer opportunities to make them more meaningful. The Give 5 program has been underway for more than a year and has been very successful in achieving program goals. The program is preparing to graduate its seventh class, and each objective is being achieved to a greater degree as each class graduates and begins volunteering in the community. The Give 5 program is a partnership between the city of Springfield, Greene County and United Way of the Ozarks.


City of Nixa (Large City, with population 15,000 -30,000)
Staff Think Tank

The Nixa City Staff Think Tank has three main objectives: to create organizational buy-in; to facilitate leadership development; and to develop solutions to complex challenges. The city’s Think Tank has enhanced their organizational culture; developed leaders among the line level and mid-level staff; and developed solutions to several complex internal challenges. The topic areas Think Tank developed recommend solutions for adoption and implementation by City leadership include defining their internal culture; improving internal communications; enhancing onboarding/orientation processes; developing an internship program; and enhancing internal training. This project has no external cost and is flexible enough to adapt to any organization providing solutions to a variety of internal challenges.


City of Lebanon (Medium, with population 5,000 – 15,000)
Fire Department Safety and Education

On June 6, 2018, tragedy struck the community of Lebanon when five young children perished in a residential structure fire.  The children ranged in ages from six months to five years of age. The primary intent of this project is to ensure there are working smoke detectors in every home within the City. The project expanded to include providing carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and bailout ladders. This important project involved members of the community donating funds to purchase smoke detectors and the Lebanon City Council passing an ordinance establishing the project and committing to matching funds to support efforts.  Members of the Lebanon Fire Department install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, conduct public education sessions, and deliver ladders and fire extinguishers when requested.


City of Fair Grove (Small category, with populations less than 5,000 and Member's Choice
Inexpensive Geographic Information System

Fair Grove wanted to replace paper plans, maps and field books with computer/smart phone-accessible maps. The City contacted Circuit Rider Diamond Maps. For $300 per year (ten-year price guarantee), Fair Grove jumped into the 21st century. The GIS system is shared over the internet with City offices, the public water supply district, the fire protection district, planning and zoning, residents, developers and contractors. In the field, workers can pull up construction and as-built plans; fire hydrant inspections and flow tests; maintenance records; and photo documentation of sewer and water line repairs.  New water meters no longer require an outside GPS survey and during the interim can be accurately pinned on the base map in the field. 

Innovation Award Winners


Larger City Category
City of Columbia

Large City Category
City of Nixa

Medium City Category
City of Willard

Small City Category
North Kansas City

Members' Choice
City of Columbia


Larger City Category
City of Kansas City

Large City Category
City of Nixa

Medium City Category
City of Fulton

Small City Category
Rockaway Beach and Merriam Woods

Members' Choice


The MML Innovation Awards program showcases municipal projects that demonstrate new approaches for solving municipal challenges.

The awards complement the League's goal of serving as a clearinghouse for municipal information. The awards recognize and celebrate successful programs, spotlighting those that could benefit other communities.

2019 Innovation Award Summaries

2018 Innovation Award Summaries

2017 Innovation Award Summaries

2016 Innovation Award Summaries

2015 Innovation Award Summaries 

2014 Innovation Award Summaries

2013 Innovation Award Summaries

2012 Innovation Award Summaries


Coming Soon! Updated Innovation Projects Catalog







Missouri Municipal League

1727 Southridge Dr. Jefferson City, MO 65109

P: 573.635.9134 | F: 573.635.9009 |