AUGUSTA — A nonprofit group devoted to advancing Maine’s downtowns is taking nominations for its annual achievement awards.

The Maine Development Foundation’s Downtown Center is accepting submissions in 16 categories for projects that were completed in the past year.

The awards aim to recognize projects that demonstrate excellence in downtown renewal and people who have played leadership roles in downtown revitalization.

Awards will be presented at the 2011 Maine Vital Communities Conference in Skowhegan.

The Downtown Center was established in 1999 to advance preservation-based economic development in Maine downtowns.