2011 DENR Sustainability Winners
Department leadership announced the 2011 DENR Sustainability Award winners at the senior leadership meeting on March 13 in the ground floor hearing room of the Archdale Building.
This year, there were seven DENR Sustainability Awards given in recognition of actions taken by DENR employees. Awards were given for large and small group recognition, as well as individual sustainable projects.
Large Group Awards
First Place winner: N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation
The first place award in the large group category goes to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation for its many sustainability successes. Top-down commitment to sustainability has prompted large numbers of creative ideas and projects from employees leading to an established culture of sustainability in the way the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation operates.
Second Place Winner: Jennette’s Pier
The North Carolina aquarium’s newest facility opened May 21. The pier is on target to receive a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. With all its features, the pier will provide unique educational opportunities that support the aquarium’s mission, scientific mission and research, and demonstrate energy efficient technologies while providing public access to the fishery and oceanfront.
Small Group Awards
This year, the small group category has a three-way tie for first place, but no second place.
Small Group Award Winner: N.C. Aquariums
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher receives this award for establishing an original reuse and recycling program. As part of the program outreach to the community, aquarium staff members accept donations of gently used Halloween costumes and collect empty candy wrappers for recycling.
Small Group Award: The Zoo's "Recyclinators"
This award goes to a group at the zoo we like to call the "Recyclinators." The "Recyclinators" are three women (Sue Baltes, Susan Riddick and Melissa Wells) who have recycled aluminum cans to raise money for the North Carolina Zoo's Field Ecology Program at the Tooro Botanical Gardens in Uganda. Money from the 559 pounds of cans collected in 2011 support propagation of native jungle plants, education of Ugandans on plant diversity and protects the habitat of endangered animals.
Small Group Award: The DENR Sustainability Team Subcommittee
The award is given to the 2011 DENR Sustainability Team’s Recycling Subcommittee for its Technotrash Recycling program, helping DENR employees with recycle thousands of pounds of compact discs, DVDs and floppy discs that normally would have ended up in the landfill. Before Technotrash boxes, DENR employees had no option for this kind of recycling. Those on the team not pictured are Holly Denham (Division of Water Resources), Lindy Allen (Division of Parks and Recreation) and Jessi Baker (Division of Marine Fisheries).
Individual Project Awards
First Place Winner: Elizabeth Freeman, N.C. Zoo
The first place award in the individual project category goes to Elizabeth Freeman of the North Carolina Zoo for her initiative in setting up recycling boxes for cups, plates and other foam products and coordinating with a local company to take the foam. This allowed the zoo to recycle polysterene foam products previously sent to the landfill.
Second Place Winner: Ranger Jack Singley, William B. Umstead State Park
The second place award in the individual project category goes to Park Ranger Jack Singley for his work tackling the problem of short cut trails at William B. Umstead State Park, by creating educational signs, organizing a group of community volunteers to install an educational kiosk and leading these volunteers in completing a native grass restoration project for one of the main short cut trails.
The DENR Sustainability Team is composed of representatives from 27 DENR divisions, offices and programs. Its mission is "to inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions." More information on DENR Sustainability is available at portal.ncdenr.org/web/sustainability/home
Information on sustainability in buildings and lands in North Carolina is available on the state sustainability team NC Project Green website, www.ncprojectgreen.org.