2015 Environmental Awards Winners
The City of Raleigh presented the 2015 Environmental Awards on Wednesday, April 22 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Awards were presented in 12 categories to recognize local individuals and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to protecting or improving the environment.
The Donna Jackson Trailblazer Awards, sponsored by the Public Utilities Department, were presented to local college students for the public service announcement video competition to raise awareness of water conservation and efficient water use, sponsored by the Public Utilities department.
The Emerging Young Professionals video public service announcement (PSA) awards, sponsored by the City’s Engineering Services - Stormwater Management Division, were presented to local high school students. The PSAs focused on the theme: “Stormwater runoff is the main connection between humans’ activities and water bodies; what we do on land affects our lakes and streams.”
This year marked the inaugural Urban Agriculture Awards, sponsored by the City of Raleigh Environmental Advisory Board and M/I Homes, to encourage the development of urban agricultural efforts within the city. Fourteen local community gardens received monetary gifts ranging from $250 to $1,000.
US Foods Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award - Chavis Conversation Public Leadership Group
The Chavis Conversation Public Leadership Group (PLG) received the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award, sponsored by US Foods, for environmental leadership and recognizing the relationship between the environment, economics, and the social justice aspects of human society. The PLG demonstrated an exemplary level of volunteerism, public engagement, civic leadership and dedication to the task of restoring and revitalizing John Chavis Memorial Park for generations to come
Environmental Awareness Award - EcoVillage at North Carolina State University, Sustainable Planning and Urban Development Sightseers
The Environmental Awareness Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership or teaching others about the environment. This year’s recipient is EcoVillage at North Carolina State University, Sustainable Planning and Urban Development Sightseers. This course teaches students sustainable planning and urban development in terms of economy, society, and environment.
Youth Award - Boys & Girls Clubs and Eric Rizzo
The Youth Award is given to a student or youth organization that has demonstrated environmental stewardship. Two awards were presented: Boys & Girls Clubs received a Youth Award for their continued work with Trees Across Raleigh, resulting in planting more than 9000 trees; and North Carolina State University student Eric Rizzo also received a Youth Award for his leadership in environmental and social issues and for inspiring others to become actively involved.
Emerging Business/Technology Award - David B. Wells, P.G., for the Former Piedmont Air Conditioning Innovative Remediation Project
The Emerging Business/Technology Award recognizes demonstrated environmental stewardship in an emerging business or through new or improved technology. David B. Wells, P.G., of Cape Lookout Environmental Sciences, received the award for the Former Piedmont Air Conditioning Innovative Remediation Project. Wells’ innovative remediation technique allowed free-product gasoline and contaminated groundwater to be recovered and later transported to a facility where the petroleum can be recovered, refined and used for fuel.
Native Landscaping - Helen Yoest
The Native Landscaping award recognizes an individual or business that utilizes drought-tolerant and native plants in their landscaping. Helen Yoest received the award for redesigning her garden with water-wise design principals, to be pesticide-free and fully sustainable with minimal intervention.
Mid-Atlantic Associates Urban Stewardship Award - Advocates for Health in Action
The Urban Stewardship Award recognizes a volunteer, individual or organization engaged in community building or conservation. This year’s award recipient is Advocates for Health in Action (AHA), a group diverse group of 75 organizations and individuals working to create a healthier Wake County. They increase access to healthy and local food and physical activity by shaping policies, systems and environments.
Natural Resource Conservation Award - Highland United Methodist Church
The Natural Resource Conservation award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated natural resource conservation that may include water, land, air quality, habitat/biodiversity or waste reduction. Highland United Methodist Church Green Committee, developed in 2010, received the award for various conservation and energy efficiency projects including the installation of a 45kw rooftop solar photovoltaic array and supporting the Highland Community Garden.
Market Transformation Award - Pepsi Bottling Ventures
The Market Transformation Award recognizes an individual or organization that manufactures, retails, or markets transformative products, services or technology which promotes positive change for the environment and health. This year’s recipient is Pepsi Bottling Ventures for using its expired sugared beverages to create a beverage remediation product comparable to commercial groundwater bioremediation products that eliminates contamination and reduces disposal costs.
Pioneering Efforts Award - Endless Sun Produce LLC
The Pioneering Efforts Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated pioneering efforts in any environmental area. Endless Sun Produce LLC, a hydroponic greenhouse dedicated to helping grow a robust local food system using a fraction of the resources required by industrial farms, won the award.
Residential Green Design Award - North Carolina Cooperative Extension Residential Energy Efficiency Program
The Green Design Award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated green design concepts and a positive ecological footprint within new or existing buildings. Examples may include stormwater, recycling, sedimentation and erosion controls, construction debris reuse, and energy innovation. This year’s Residential Green Design Award was presented to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Residential Energy Efficiency Program for providing energy education and training, audits and energy efficiency upgrades.
Non-Residential Green Design Award - Wake Technical Community College Montague Hall
The Non-Residential Green Design Award recipient is Montague Hall at Northern Wake Technical Community College campus. Built on the site of an existing parking lot, which limited the amount of required clearing and loss of natural vegetation, Montague Hall features numerous sustainability elements that allow it to achieve LEED Silver certification.
Institutional Innovation Award - North Carolina State University LEED Labs
The Institutional Innovation Award is given to a government entity that has been innovative in any area of environmental stewardship. This year’s award recipient is North Carolina State University LEED Labs, a transdisciplinary immersion course that utilizes the built environment to educate and prepare students to become green building leaders and sustainability-focused citizens.
Regional Award - Tar River Land Conservancy for the Haynes Tract Conservation Project
The Regional Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated environmental stewardship for the region, such as air quality, streams and watersheds, or other regional issues. Tar River Land Conservancy won the Regional Award for the Haynes Tract Conservation Project which cleaned up a 600,000-gallon abandoned hog waste lagoon and led to the permanent protection of 117 acres of land located along the Robertson Creek in Granville County.
M/I Homes Urban Agriculture Awards
This year marked the inaugural Urban Agriculture Awards, sponsored by the City of Raleigh Environmental Advisory Board and M/I Homes, to encourage the development of urban agricultural efforts within the city. Fourteen local community gardens received monetary gifts ranging from $250 to $1,000. The awards were presented in three categories:
Small Community Garden:
- A Kind Garden Child Enrichment Center
- A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center
- Beginning & Beyond Child Development Center Inc.
- Childcare Network #61
- Method Child Development Center
- Primary Beginnings, CDC
Large Community Garden:
- Alliance Medical Ministry Community Garden
- Asbury United Methodist Church Community Garden
- Liberty Community Garden at Cedar Point Apartments
- Wedge Community Garden
Commercial Urban Agriculture:
- Endless Sun Produce LLC
- NC Fair Share CDC: Youth Grow Initiative
- Raleigh City Farm
Donna Jackson Trailblazer Awards
The Donna Jackson Trailblazer video public service announcement awards (PSA) were presented. Named for Donna Jackson, a City of Raleigh retiree who made a significant impact in the Triangle area's civil engineering community, the public service announcements focused on water efficiency and conservation.
Shaw University students Cassandra Cook and Jessica Turner won first place. North Carolina State University student Carson Nguyen placed second. Shaw University student Korey Merritt won third.
Emerging Young Professionals
The Young Emerging Professionals awards were given to high school students who produced video PSAs based on the theme, "Stormwater runoff is the main connection between humans’ activities and water bodies; what we do on the land affects our lakes and streams.” The awards are sponsored by the City of Raleigh Engineering Services Stormwater Management Division
Ashley Hatton won first place, the team of Nathan Pike, Jeffrey Smitherman and Genie Mason placed second, and the duo Gabe Dickens and Ryan Miller placed third; all of these students attend North Raleigh Christian Academy. Callie Kirchstein and Grant Hall of Leesville Road High School won Honorable Mention.