2017 Environmental Awards Winners
The City of Raleigh presented the 2017 Environmental Awards on Tuesday, April 25 at the in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts with Mayor Nancy McFarlane giving the welcome address. Awards were presented in 8 categories to recognize local individuals and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to protecting or improving the environment.
As part of the ceremony, the Streams and Stormwater Video Competition Awards, sponsored by the City’s Engineering Services - Stormwater Management Division, were presented to local high school students who designed and created video public service announcements (PSAs). The PSAs focused on educating residents about the negative impacts of stormwater runoff.
The City has presented the Environmental Awards every year since 2008 so this year marked the 10th year of the program which recognizes individuals and organizations who have accomplished outstanding work in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability in the Capital City.
View the flipbook of the 2017 Environmental Award Winners, or read about them below.
Emerging Business Award
Apiopolis, a nonprofit bee sanctuary in Raleigh, received the Emerging Business Award for promoting natural and sustainable beekeeping practices with a focus on conservation, education and research. With 17 sites across Raleigh, Apiopolis is dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful impacts of chemical herbicides and pesticides on honey bees and other pollinators, which are indicator species for environmental health.
N.C. State’s Zero Waste in the Workplace (ZWW) program was given the Education Award. ZWW diverted more than 2,300 pounds of compost and increased recycling by 11.2 percent at three campus buildings during the last six months of 2016. The program’s bin optimization component was so successful that at least 21 additional campus locations have requested ZWW program implementation.
Greg Fishel, chief meteorologist at WRAL-TV since 1989 known for his sense of humor and professional integrity, captured the Individual Award. Mr. Fishel was a climate skeptic for many years but changed his views after using a scientific approach to test his hypothesis and evaluate the results. He has chronicled his journey in a documentary, “Greg Fishel: Exploring Climate Change” and written on the subject, thrusting himself into the front lines of a national debate on climate change.
The Legacy Award was given to Jean Spooner, Ph.D., a longtime Extension professor and water quality specialist at N.C. State. Ms. Spooner exemplifies a lifelong commitment to improving the environment and, following a 34-year career at N.C. State, she still continues to lead water and air quality projects. She has been involved in numerous local conservation efforts and organizations.
Advocates for Health in Action and Wake County Planning shared the Organization Award for helping to advance a policy change making it easier for local urban agricultural enterprises to succeed. In January, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the Agricultural Amendment to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance. The amendment strengthens economic growth by supporting farmers, boosting local food sales and keeping agricultural land in production.
Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award (RESA)
WakeUP Wake County captured the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award for advocating for expanding public transit. Since 2008, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has been in the forefront of educating and engaging citizens and decision-makers in supporting policies for sustainable, healthy and livable communities. WakeUP supported legislation giving Triangle counties the authority to hold a sales tax referendum to fund transit. This led to Wake County voters approving a half-cent sales tax last year.
Built Environmental Award
The Built Environmental Award recognizing a project-in-progress was presented to the Purple Martin Community Farm. As envisioned, the 6-acre vegetable farm in the 5401 North neighborhood will encourage a strong, vibrant community centered on agriculture and healthy living. The farm will provide activities for both children and adults, including learning about growing vegetables and healthy eating.
Streams and Stormwater PSA Video Competition
The Streams and Stormwater PSA Video Competition sponsored by the City’s Engineering Services - Stormwater
Management Division, were presented to local high school students who designed
and created video public service announcements (PSAs). This is a creative way
for local students to showcase their work and educate residents about
stormwater issues and how to prevent everyday activates on land from affecting
the ecosystem and polluting our streams, lakes, and water.
Finishing first in the competition was Julian Simoes who received a $500 cash prize. Placing second was Chloe Wen, who was given a $300 cash prize; and capturing third place was the team of Jacob Fletcher, Carla Fuller and Anton Baeza which received a $200 cash prize. Check out the winning videos here.
Trashion Design Competition
Another innovative part of the Environmental Awards ceremony
was the Trashion Design Competition
sponsored by the City of Raleigh Solid Waste Services Department. The
competition is designed to encourage individuals ages 14 and older to repurpose
materials destined for the landfill into a fashion statement. It allows
provides an opportunity for budding fashion designers to showcase unique and
recycled inspired garments created from items that would otherwise be tossed in
Mary Thuma finished first in the Trashion Design Competition. She won a $500 cash prize. Honorable mention and $100 cash prizes went to Sarah Evans Nicholson and Lindy Stark.
Urban Agriculture Awards
The presence of agriculture in the urban environment positively affects the natural environment, the local economy, social relations and household economic behavior, all of which contribute to the livability of the city. Acknowledging the challenges facing our food system, the Environmental Advisory Board seeks to promote the personal and societal benefits of urban agriculture. New for 2017 is the expansion of the urban agriculture category to include pollinator habitat and support.
In the Urban Agriculture Award category, the winners were:
- A Kind Garden Child Enrichment Center
- A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center
- Alliance Medical Ministry Community Garden
- Camden Street Learning Center
- Health and Nutrition through Urban Gardening at Urban Ministries
- Joyner and Wildwood Forest Elementary schools
- Liberty Community Gardens at Cedar Point Apartments
- Longview FFA Chapter
- Pam’s School of Raleigh
- Timberlake Estates
- Women’s Campus Healing Transitions
Implementation grants were also given to these entities.