Environmental Awards Program

Last updated Aug. 25, 2014 - 3:36 pm
Environmental Awards

The 2014 Environmental Awards winners were recognized as Raleigh’s best environmental stewards this year.

The Environmental Awards program, established by the City of Raleigh, recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to the environment in our community, and that are accomplishing outstanding work in environmental stewardship. The 2014 program marked the seventh annual event.

2015 Environmental Awards

The City of Raleigh presents the 2015 Environmental Awards Celebration Wednesday, April 22 at the NC Museum of Natural Science 7-9 p.m. with the public reception beginning at 6 p.m. Awards will be given in 12 categories including the Emerging Professional video public service announcement awards for local high school and college/university/technical school students.

Please mark your calendars to attend this free, public event that celebrates the accomplishments of local environmental advocates.

The annual City of Raleigh Environmental Awards Celebration awards program is completely funded by community sponsors.

For more information, please call the City of Raleigh at 919-996-3070.

Nominations Closed

Nominations for the 2015 Environmental Awards Program will open Tuesday, December 2, 2014; please check back for nomination information and details.

The City of Raleigh 2015 Environmental Awards event to celebrate the winners is April 22 at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

For more information, please call the City of Raleigh at 919-996-3070.

Award Categories

There are twelve different Environmental Awards. The award winners will be selected based upon quantifiable results that positively affect the environment.

Overall Award

  • Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award (RESA)
    The winner of RESA will be either an individual or organization that has shown environmental leadership and recognizes the relationship and continuity of the environment, economics, and equity or social justice aspects of human society.

Additional Award Categories

  • Environmental Awareness Award (Leadership or Teaching)
    The recipient of this award will have demonstrated leadership or teaching others about the environment.
  • Green Building Design Award - Residential and Non-Residential
    The recipient (s) of this award will have 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.
  • Institutional Innovation Award
    This award will recognize a government entity that has been innovative in any area of environmental stewardship.
  • Legacy Award
    The recipient of this award will be recognized for a lifelong contribution to the environment by a person or a long-term commitment by an organization.
  • Market Transformation Award
    The recipient of this award manufactures, retails, or markets transformative products, services, or technology which promotes positive change for the environment and health.
  • Natural Resource Conservation Award
    The recipient of this award will be recognized for natural resource conservation that may include water, land, air quality, habitat/biodiversity or waste reduction.
  • Pioneering Efforts Award
    The recipient of this award will be recognized for pioneering efforts in any environmental area.
  • Regional Award
    The recipient of this award will have demonstrated environmental stewardship for the region, such as air quality, streams and watersheds, or other regional issues.
  • Urban Stewardship Award
    This award will recognize a volunteer individual or organization engaged in community building or conservation.
  • Native Landscaping Award
    This award will recognize individuals or businesses that utilize drought tolerant and native plants in their landscaping. The best residential and non-residential landscape will each receive an award.

Student / Emerging Professional Awards

These award categories recognize students in multiple education levels. Each student winner receives a monetary award.

Youth Award ($500)
This award will recognize a student that has demonstrated environmental stewardship. The youth award may be given to more than one person or group.

Emerging Young Professional (High School Student) - PSA Competition
This award will recognize a 60-second video public service announcement created by a local high school student that raises awareness of stormwater issues.

Theme: Much of the pollution in our streams and lakes comes from chemicals and wastes carried by urban stormwater runoff, with no treatment. Also, both too much runoff from the ground and too little infiltration into the ground can harm streams. Adding pavements and buildings (impervious surfaces) dramatically increases amounts and rates of runoff, which increases flooding, erodes streams, increases sedimentation, and impairs habitats for desirable animals and plants. Impervious surfaces also decrease how much rainfall can soak into the ground, which causes local groundwater tables to drop and streams to dry up during droughts.

The submitted 60-second PSAs should have themes consistent with these statements:

  • Stormwater runoff is the main connection between humans’ activities and water bodies. Through stormwater runoff, what we do on the land affects our lakes and streams.
  • The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land." – Luna Leopold

Emerging Professional (College/University or Technical School)- PSA Competition
This award will recognize 30-second video public service announcements created by local college, university and technical school students. The theme of the PSA should include “Our Water, Our Future” Public Utilities slogan and focus on one of the following themes:

  1. Stop Running Toilets—One of the main reasons why customers experience high water bills is due to water leaks, specifically toilet flappers left open or in disrepair causing water to run.
  2. Water Is Worth It— The ability to keep our water supply safe and clean comes at a cost. How does the cost of this 'essential service' compare to other 'luxury' type services (i.e. monthly cable, cell phone bill, or cost of retail cup of coffee) we choose to pay for every month?
  3. Fat Free Sewers—Keeping fats, oils, grease and household items advertised as flushable out of the sewer system.

Eligibility and Selection Committee

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must either be residents of or operate within the City of Raleigh, the Raleigh extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), or the utility service area.
  • Elected officials are not eligible while they are serving in public office.

Selection Committee:

  • Ten (10) person jury, selected by the Raleigh City Council
  • One (1) chairperson chosen from the membership of and nominated by the City of Raleigh Environmental Advisory Board
  • Five (5) jury representatives are selected from
    • Planning Commission
    • Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board
    • Appearance Commission
    • Stormwater Management Advisory Commission
    • Water Utility Transition Advisory Committee or Water Conservation Advisory Council.
  • Two (2) representatives of the professional scientific community
  • Two (2) at-large members from the community
  • Members of the jury will be residents of the City of Raleigh and will rotate annually

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated based on the specific criteria and weighting formulas. Projects will be evaluated as much as possible on the quantifiable results that positively affect the environment.

  • Effectiveness - List the goals and measures of success.
  • Innovation, Creativity and Originality - Discuss the methods, strategies, and innovative ideas.
  • Environmental Stewardship - Describe measurable increases in ecological resiliency or how the nominee/submission has improved the capacity for our ecosystems to provide us with resources.
  • Leadership - Discuss how the nominee/submission demonstrated vision, foresight, and persistence.
  • Sustainability Elements - Describe how the nominee/submission has improved social, economic, and ecological conditions.

Additional evaluation methods may be used to select PSA video submissions.

Our Unique Awards


Bill Wallace handcrafts the stunning awards presented annually at the City of Raleigh Environmental Awards program. "The plan was always to use a natural product, something wooden," says Cindy Holmes, Sustainability Analyst and producer of the Environmental Awards event. The first time she saw Wallace's work, she knew she had found the perfect person to create the prized items. The awards event recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the environment.


The City of Raleigh Environmental Awards Program is made possible through the generous donations from local businesses that share the vision of environmental stewardship for the Raleigh community. These donations, both monetary and in-kind, make it possible to offer this event at no cost to attendees.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2015 celebration are available.

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Certified Friend of the Program

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