Raleigh Recognizes Best Environmental Stewards With 2016 Environmental Awards

News posted Apr. 21, 2016 - 8:50 pm
NC State Stewards

Video: 2016 Environmental Award Winners

A church with a history of promoting sustainable efforts, a teenager who has become a voice for youth on climate change, and a company that implements ecologically-friendly initiatives were among the recipients at the City of Raleigh’s ninth annual Environmental Awards ceremony tonight.

Free and open to the public, the ceremony was held at The Glenwood Club in Raleigh to honor individuals and organizations who have accomplished outstanding work in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability in the Capital City. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Jennifer Zuckerman, Healthy Living Senior Program officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The City has presented the Environmental Awards every year since 2008. Awards are given in 10 categories tonight:

  • Community United Church of Christ received the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award sponsored by US Foods. With a long-standing tradition of working for social justice, the church was recognized for environmental leadership and recognizing the relationship between the environment, economics and the equitable aspects of human society;
  • Hallie Turner was given the Youth Award. The 13-year-old has encouraged others her age to advocate for clean air and clean water for the sake of future generations. Hallie believes it is time to get away from fossil fuels and move toward 100 percent clean renewable energy. Hallie also won a $500 scholarship;
  • Mims Distributing Company, a family-owned firm, captured the Business Award for its sustainable efforts to protect the environment. These efforts include relocating its headquarters to a more centralized location and using GPS route software which both optimized the family-owned business’ fuel usage and reduced the company’s carbon footprint. Mims Distributing has also installed a solar rooftop system;
  • The Legacy Award was given to the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District. The mission of the agency, founded in 1939 as a response to the devastating Dust Bowl era, is to prevent erosion of precious topsoil and conserve Wake County’s natural resources;
  • NC State Stewards, sustainability student leaders at N.C. State University, was recognized with the Organization Award for promoting sustainable practices among peers and in the campus community. The group hosts workshops and other events;
  • DHIC’s Water Garden community received the Built Environment Award in the new project category. Water Garden is an affordable apartments community that has environmental steward and social justice features, including being smoke-free, having energy- and water-saving devices, and using drought-resistant landscaping;
  • Winning the Built Environment Award in the adaptive reuse category was the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy. A 92,000-square-foot former Coca-Cola bottling plant was transformed into a state-of-the-art facility for career and technology programs for area high school students;
  • Individual Awards were presented to Parnell Bell, a continuing student of environmental science and education who volunteers with many Raleigh organizations; Charly Kerr, owner of a local Chick-fil-A who has implemented vast improvements at his restaurant and encouraged the corporation to act more sustainably; and Erin White, a designer, entrepreneur and teacher working for healthy food systems;
  • N.C. State University’s Agroecology Education Farm won the Education Award for offering hand-on lessons in sustainable agriculture. The farm also provides locally-grown food to the university’s Dining Services;
  • The Triangle Transportation Demand Management Program was given the Regional Award sponsored by M/I Homes. Through the combined leadership of the Triangle J Council of Governments, GoTriangle and other regional partners, the Triangle Region 7-Year Long Range Travel Demand Management Plan was adopted in 2007. The goal of the plan was to reduce regional growth in vehicle miles traveled by 25 percent from 2007-2015 by implementing strategies encouraging alternative commute mode use; and,
  • In the City of Oaks Foundation Urban Agriculture category, the winners were Alliance Medical Ministry Community Garden; Edible Plantings, Advocates for Health in Action, N.C. State University Greenway; Liberty Community Garden at Cedar Point Apartments; Longview FFA Chapter; The Food Ark: Broughton and Enloe; Childcare Network #61; and Country Day Montessori School Gardens. Implementation grants were also given to these entities.

All the Environmental Award winners received hand-crafted awards created by Bill Wallace of New Light Wood Works in Wake Forest. The awards are made from repurposed wood or local fallen trees.

New at the Environmental Awards ceremony for this year 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.

The top three honors in the Trashion Design Competition went to Jessica Crabtree, who finished first; and the team of Amber Beasley and Jillian Brownell who tied for second place with Ting-Yu Yeh. The first-place finisher won a $500 cash prize; the others received $100 prizes.

Also presented tonight were winners in the video PSA competition sponsored by the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division. The PSAs focused on stormwater awareness.

Finishing first in the PSA competition was the team of Graham Lowder, Jessie Collier, Rachel Williams and Tobias the Guinea Pig. The team received a $500 cash prize. Tying for second place were Marideth Batchelor and the team of Elizabeth Durand and Sarah Volpert, with each entry receiving $250 cash prizes.

The Environmental Awards celebration, in partnership with the City of Oaks Foundation, is made possible through generous donations from sponsors who share the vision of environmental stewardship for the Raleigh community. In addition to the City of Oaks Foundation, these sponsors include M/I Homes, US Foods, Brown & Caldwell, CompostNow, Duke Energy, Hazen and Sawyer, Irregardless Café, Larry’s Coffee, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Dewberry, Duncklee & Dunham, HDR, S&ME, SEPI Engineering & Construction, Sonoco Recycling, WRAL, Yes Solar Solutions, and York Properties.

Flipbook: 2016 Environmental Awards Winners

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