2009 Environmental Award Winners
A 12-year old who turned bits of garbage into rain barrels and a thriving business, a high school student who worked tirelessly to encourage environmental awareness and activism, and a local architectural firm that promoted sustainability and environmental education were among the winners at the second annual City of Raleigh Environmental Awards banquet on April 22, 2009.
The awards program recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to protecting or improving the environment. The award winners were chosen based upon quantifiable results that positively affect the environment. The trophies given to the winners were prepared by Bill Wallace of New Light Wood Works in Wake Forest. The maple trophies were created from a tree that was taken down near Cameron Village and the oak bottom was turned from a beam reclaimed from a local building that was demolished.
The Youth Awards are given to students who demonstrate a commitment to the environment. Each award recipient receives a $500 scholarship. The 2009 Youth Award winners were:
- Ryan Berglund - A 12 year old who began making rain barrels in his garage to help his community during an historic drought. His rain barrels are made from recycled barrels that were once used to store pickles, olives, peas, cauliflowers and jalapenos. The business has grown and his rain barrels are now carried by hardware stores, nurseries, and feed stores throughout the region.
- Shana Cothran - A senior at Ravenscroft School, was the founder and president of the Global Warming Action Group, which started a recycling program in the Upper School, brought the BioBus to campus and is helping to educate members of the community about how the decisions we are making today are impacting us and the world for generations.
The Legacy Award is given to a person or organization that has given a lifelong contribution to the environment. The 2009 recipient of the Legacy Award was:
- Advanced Energy - The firm implements local and national energy efficiency programs as an independent nonprofit committed to a future in which energy needs are met at reasonable costs and with the least negative consequences.
The Environmental Awareness Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership or teaching by educating others about the environment. The 2009 award recipient was:
- HagerSmith Design for its Green Lunch and Learn Series - The company is a multidisciplinary firm consisting of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and construction administrators. More than a year ago, the firm created a green committee to identify ways that would promote sustainability both internally and in a community outreach effort. To date, topics have included permaculture, living roofs, energy modeling and solar panels, an overview of the LEED process at the new Raleigh Convention and Conference Center, onsite wastewater treatment, green interior products, and a green catering company's business model and commercial grade 24-hour self-composter for restaurants.
The Urban Stewardship Award recognizes individuals or organizations engaged in community building or conservation. The 2009 recipients are:
- The City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department for its NeighborWoods Street Tree Program - NeighborWoods is a cooperative effort between the City of Raleigh and its citizens. The program delivers five-to-10-gallon trees to individual homeowners who pledge to plant and water those trees along City streets in their neighborhoods. NeighborWoods was created to counteract the loss of thousands of trees during and after severe weather events such Hurricanes Fran, Hurricane Floyd, and ice storms. More than 8,000 trees have been planted through the program;
- Trees Across Raleigh - The group's mission is to promote private community volunteers and public cooperation in expanding and maintaining Raleigh's urban treescape. Over the past decade, Trees Across Raleigh has participated in the planting of more than 7,000 trees with the assistance of over 3,500 volunteers at 32 different project sites.
The Natural Resource Conservation award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated natural resource conservation in any area. The 2009 recipient was:
- Meredith College's Food Services and Facilities Services - Since beginning its composting program with the goal of diverting 100 percent of the college's dining hall food waste from local landfills, the project has diverted several hundred tons of waste from Wake County landfills. The Grounds Department of Facilities Services built a vermicompost system, a decomposition process that uses Red Wiggler worms in addition to microbes and bacteria to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
The Market Transformation Award recognizes manufacturers, retailers, or marketers that promote products, services, and choices that lessen the impact on the environment and its health. The 2009 recipient of this award was:
- Southern Energy Management - A local company, the firm supplies homeowners, builders, and developers who are implementing efforts to improve energy efficiency and use solar power. As a leader in the important green energy industry, Southern Energy Management has played a critical role in transforming the market for energy efficiency and renewable energy both in Raleigh and across the state - winning the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award for the past three years.
The Pioneering Efforts Award is given to an individual or organization that have demonstrated pioneering efforts in any environmental area. The award recipient for 2009 was:
- Carolina Solar Energy for its North Carolina State University Photovoltaic Solar Generator - The 75 kilowatt solar generator was the largest solar photovoltaic system in North Carolina when it was inaugurated and it is still the largest solar photovoltaic project at any university in North Carolina. The system consists of 432 ground-mounted solar panels apportioned in six arrays. The power it generates is sold to Progress Energy.
The Green Design Award recognizes an individual or organization that has excelled in the built environment with elements of stormwater, recycling, sedimentation and erosion controls, construction debris reuse, energy innovation, and the ecological footprint. The 2009 Green Design Award recipient was:
- Wake Technical Community College - Wake Tech strives to be an active and environmentally responsible member of the Raleigh community by working to advance programs and initiatives that minimize the negative impact upon the ecosystem and that maximize the college's impact as educator, role model, and community member. Wake Tech is planning and developing its entire Northern Wake Campus according to U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards.
The Regional Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated an environmental commitment to regional issues, such as air quality or the Neuse River Basin. The 2009 award recipient was:
- The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department and Hazen and Sawyer for their work on the Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plant Nitrogen Removal Project. The plant treats water to a high quality and discharges into the nutrient sensitive Neuse River. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules required the plant to reduce its total nitrogen levels by 2003 because for high levels of nitrogen were contributing to water quality problems in the Neuse estuary. In the plant's second year of operation, the nitrogen removal program achieved the projected nitrogen reduction goals, reducing its total nitrogen levels by nearly one million pounds. The achievement came four years ahead of schedule. The biological nitrogen removal process has shown improvement each year through operational modifications and efficiencies implemented by staff.
The Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award is an overall award for an individual or organization that has shown leadership in sustainable development. The 2009 award recipient for the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award was:
- Builders of Hope for its work on Barrington Village - The group rescues and renews properties that would otherwise likely be demolished or continue to deteriorate. With every Builders of Hope home, thousands of pounds of "debris" are diverted from area landfills. Through partnerships with Advanced Energy and NC Healthy Built Homes, Builders of Hope provides its homebuyers with the assurance that their home is truly "green."