2012 Environmental Awards Winners
The City of Raleigh presented the 2012 Environmental Awards on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at the Nature Research Center wing of the Museum of Natural Sciences. There were 15 awards presented to recognize local individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to protecting or improving the environment. This year the City of Raleigh added a public service announcement video competition to raise awareness of water conservation and efficient water use, created by local area college, university or technical school student(s).
Emerging Business - Green Planet Catering
Green Planet Catering was the winner of the Emerging Business Award. Green Planet is a unique catering business focusing on sustainability in all aspects of event planning. The company emphasizes using local and seasonal foods, including many items grown on its farm, in collaboration with NC State University. Delivery vehicles run on biodiesel created at an in-house production facility. Waste is a major issue in the event industry and Green Planet Catering uses a commercial composting service to return this highly useful end-product back to the company's farm, enriching the soil for growing more local and seasonal foods.
Harris Teeter Youth Award - Regrowing Nature at Washington Elementary
Regrowing Nature at Washington Elementary won the Harris Teeter Youth Award. In the wake of the April 2011 tornadoes, a group of 4th graders at Washington Elementary School devised a plan to raise money for replacing their school's lost trees. The group, Regrowing Nature at Washington, was formed, a flyer was made, and the students hit the streets, to raise money for the project. Trees Across Raleigh offered extraordinary support for the students' efforts, the school PTA offered additional money, and over 100 volunteers came to plant the trees. Thanks to this group of 4th graders spearheading the project, the school campus has over 100 new trees and bushes and won a $500 scholarship for the school!
Harris Teeter Youth Award - Exploris Middle School
Exploris Middle School also won the Harris Teeter Youth Award for their anti litter campaign. The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation challenged schools to improve local water quality. To meet the challenge, six Exploris Middle School eighth graders launched the "Cigarette Litter Will Cost You, No Ifs, Ands, or Butts" campaign. With the help of Raleigh's Office of Public Affairs, they filmed public service announcement videos that are currently airing on local cable TV. The group also worked with Keep North Carolina Beautiful and Raleigh's Transit Authority to create extensive bus advertising, and petitioned City Council to place more ash receptacles in city spaces. As cigarette butts are the number one form of litter in our community, we are proud of this group for addressing this important issue.
Legacy Award - Jack Colby
The winner of the Legacy Award was Jack Colby. He leads a powerful culture of sustainability at North Carolina State University. While the campus continued to grow with new students, resources, and laboratories, measureable improvements were achieved under Mr. Colby's leadership including significant decreases in water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption; diversion of almost half of all waste from the landfill through reuse and recycling; and implementing a campus wide Sustainability Strategic Plan. Mr. Colby's legacy will continue through the work of future generations of students, ensuring NC State grows as a living and learning laboratory of sustainability.
Environmental Awareness - Rachel Conley
The Environmental Awareness Award was given to Rachel Conley. She is a natural leader at North Carolina State University, serving as president of the Leopold Wildlife Club and as chair of the Sustainability Committee for Student Government. Rachel jointly led a trip for 17 students to Costa Rica in 2011 where they built a biodigester for the local community. The trip was so successful, she led another group of 18 students back to Costa Rica last month. Rachel oversees the Think-Outside-the-Brick student competition, which has launched 2 community gardens, installed energy saving light timers, and created a solar gazebo that powers electrical outlets. She plans to pursue graduate school and become an outreach professor at a university's wildlife program.
Urban Stewardship - Caroline MacNair Carl
The Urban Stewardship Award was given to Caroline MacNair Carl for her stewardship and protection of an important urban landscape, MacNair's Country Acres. Caroline is committed to sustainability, local agriculture, and Raleigh's youth. Her farm hosts therapeutic equestrian programs, internships, 4-H activities, "Farm Days" for children, and a community garden run by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Last year, Caroline donated a conservation easement to the Triangle Land Conservancy that protects water quality and wildlife habitat in one of the last remaining rural areas in the Swift Creek watershed. Caroline's efforts ensure her land will continue serving Raleigh with valuable open space in an increasingly urban area.
Natural Resource Conservation - North Carolina Department of Transportation
The Natural Resource Conservation Award was given to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the four stormwater retrofit installations at the Interstate 440 and Wade Avenue interchange that control and treat stormwater runoff from 12 acres of highway and improve water quality and peak flow reduction in the House Creek watershed. This ambitious and highly visible project is part of a larger program to evaluate innovative methods for treating stormwater along roadways. This project is one of many across North Carolina continuing the development of sustainable environmental stewardship strategies, helping protect one of our state's valuable natural resources.
Market Transformation - Bland Landscaping
The Market Transformation Award recipient is Bland Landscaping. Bland Landscaping is a full-service landscaping company and one of the nation's first GreenPlus Certified businesses. Bland Landscaping seeks innovative ways to reduce its environmental impact and is a progressive leader in horticultural practices - and in the community - as a successful, sustainable company. The company has been successful in reducing consumption of fuel, water, and chemicals, while curbing carbon dioxide emissions by using efficient equipment and improving business practices. Bland Landscaping's commitment to sustainability expanded their line of green business practices, educated and trained employees and customers, and positioned the company for growth as an industry leader in environmental stewardship.
Pioneering Efforts - Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation
The Pioneering Efforts Award was given to the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (DHIC). DHIC is a non-profit that develops affordable housing and creates economic opportunity for people of modest means. DHIC believes that everyone in our community deserves to benefit from energy-saving, healthy and environmentally-friendly technologies. As a pioneering green developer, the Corporation chooses the highest-impact, most affordable green options to keep development costs down while achieving measurable results. Two of their outstanding green projects are Meadowcreek Commons, a LEED Silver Certified seniors' community in Southeast Raleigh and the renovation of Murphy School Apartments, which included the first solar thermal panel installation in a Raleigh Historic District.
Green Design Award - Green Square NCDENR Building
The Green Design Award recipient is the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) building in Green Square. The DENR building is a 150,000 square-foot office building. Paired with the existing Archdale Building, it brings staff from multiple locations to two downtown Raleigh buildings. The design of the building uses innovative strategies and anticipates achieving a minimum LEED Gold Certification. Sustainable strategies used throughout the building include: high-efficiency building enclosure; use of natural daylighting; energy efficient HVAC systems; 100% LED lighting; photovoltaic power generation; a green roof; and the reuse of rainwater collected in a 72,000 gallon cistern for irrigation, toilet flushing, and cooling tower water.
Institutional Innovation Award - City of Raleigh Transit Operations Center
The Institutional Innovation Award was given to the Raleigh Transit Operations Facility. The Transit Operations facility is a dynamic, state-of-the-art campus replacing an aging and inefficient 30-year-old facility. The project is anticipated to achieve LEED Platinum certification, making it the first such integrated facility in the nation to reach this designation. The 23-acre campus serves as an administrative, operations, and maintenance facility for all Capital Area Transit Operations. Through an integrated design process, the project successfully implements creative design concepts in stormwater, recycling, construction waste, water and energy efficiency. With a remarkably reduced carbon footprint, a healthy working environment, durable materials, and the ability for expansion, this facility should serve City of Raleigh's needs for the next 50 years.
Water Efficient Landscaping - NC Department of Cultural Resources
The recipient of the Water Efficient Landscaping Award is the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. During the course of the design process of what was originally a standard roof replacement project, the Department of Cultural Resources determined it would be advantageous to try something new and innovative for a State Government Agency, that is - replace a failing conventional roof with a green roof. This project utilized a Hydrotech green roofing system with elevated concrete paver walking surfaces around the perimeter of the roof, allowing for the introduction of a variety of drought resistant plants located in landscaping beds
Regional Award - Environmental Holdings Group
The Regional Award was given to Environmental Holdings Group. Environmental Holdings Group has been salvaging building elements and materials for reuse long before it was the ecological thing to do. Averaging 300 demolition and remediation projects annually, Environmental Holdings Group often yields over an 80-95% volumetric recycling rate. Environmental Holdings Group recognizes that proper demolition practices are instrumental in achieving goals of preservation and reclamation. The company also understands that each project is unique and every project requires a customized sustainability plan. Environmental Holdings Group has streamlined this process with a dedicated salvage manager, allowing substantial cost savings in the reclamation process
Regional Award - Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon New Urban Stormwater Ordinance
The Regional Award was also given to the Towns of Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon for their New Urban Stormwater Ordinance. After participating in two comprehensive stakeholder processes, the Towns crafted performance standards to comply with anticipated standards for NPDES Phase II regulations, as well as reduce excess nutrients, and provide flexible design options and incentives for low-impact development. The new ordinance has resulted in innovative site design that incorporates low-impact development techniques and stormwater best management practices that protect water resources and enhance water quality
Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award - Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson
The recipient of the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award was posthumously given to Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson. The place she called home for nearly 50 years is now the home of Raleigh's first Nature Preserve Park covering 157 acres. Quoting Dr. Wilkerson in describing the vision she had for her farm in north Raleigh, "The property shall be maintained as a nature preserve park, and used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education, and the study and research into methods of conservation." Photovoltaics, water reuse systems, electric vehicle charging, and recycled and pervious materials all sustainably support Dr. Wilkerson's vision for the Preserve. The nature preserve provides our community with the opportunity to participate in hands-on nature activities, environmental education programs, and passive outdoor experiences. One brief visit to the Preserve and you'll understand why it is such a special place.
Donna Jackson Trailblazer Awards
This year's newest awards are the Donna Jackson Trailblazer Awards, named in recognition of Donna Jackson's 28 years of service to the City of Raleigh. She demonstrated creativity in her performance, dedication to leadership, and professional commitment to public service. Mrs. Jackson made a significant impact on the civil engineering community and is a role model for the next generation of engineering leaders.
This award recognizes local college, university, and technical school students who have showcased their creativity and talent by producing an original 30-second video public service announcement focusing on water and environmental stewardship. The videos are available on the City of Raleigh YouTube site.
First Place - Eric Hunsley "Our Water, Our Future"
Second Place - Jonathan Dockery & Anthony Purnell "Water Investigations Unit"
Third Place - Tiffany Taylor "Conserve and Save"
Honorable Mention - Ian Kowalski "Local Water"
Honorable Mention - LAC Team A "Help Conserve Water"