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The National Scenic Byways Foundation (NSBF) presented the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways with the 2022 Communications Award during the Heartland Byway Conference in Leavenworth, Kansas.

As one of eight first-in-class awards presented by National Scenic Byway Foundation on May 4, NSBF President Chris Sieverdes presented the award during the national dinner and ceremony at the Schwinn Barn in Leavenworth. Lenore Bates, program director for the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Program, was on hand to accept the award.

There are 26 Colorado scenic By-ways designated in the state of Colorado.

In presenting the award, Sieverdes noted Colorado’s diverse transportation system linking the state together while showcasing the state’s beauty.

The winning project, the #ColoradoByways campaign on Instagram, was a visual storytelling project that highlighted the rich history, beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and more along each of each of the state’s 26 Scenic and Historic Colorado Byways.

In Chaffee County, U.S. 285 is a designated national Scenic Byway known as the Collegiate Peaks National Scenic Byway. runing north to south, it follows the line of more than 14,000 foot peaks and there is a stunning view along virtually the entire length.

The campaign goals were not only to educate and engage followers on Instagram about Colorado’s Scenic Byways but to also grow this channel to reach more travelers across colorful Colorado. For seven months (June – December), the team showcased a new Colorado Byway weekly in different regions across the state. Using a byways map to strategically create an editorial calendar of which roadway to feature based on the best times to safely travel became an excellent two-way communication effort to reach travelers.

Lively graphics captured the imaginations of the followers increasing the engagement and visibility of the program. The Foundation recognized the teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking needed to create a social media program that could be a model for other state byway programs.

Featured image: The striking views along the Collegiate Peaks National Scenic Byway continue for miles. This image of the byway is from the Centerville Ranch looking west toward the Collegiate Peaks. Photo courtesy of Central Colorado Conservancy.