The mission at the Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) is to protect and enhance Kentucky’s environment. In support of this mission, DEP is proud to recognize and encourage environmental excellence in the Commonwealth through its Environmental Excellence Awards program. We know that individuals, businesses and organizations are committed to protecting and improving Kentucky’s environment, and through this program, we would like to recognize those efforts and activities.
The Department for Environmental Protection is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Environmental Excellence Awards, which were presented at the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington. Photos of the winners can be viewed here .
The awards recipients are as follows:
KY EXCEL Champion Award: Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, Owensboro
The Ursuline Sisters recycled 16,000 pounds of materials, including newspapers, cardboard, galvanized cans, office paper, aluminum cans, plastic and magazines in less than a year and have set a new recycling goal of 20,000 pounds. They have worked for more than 25 years to become Earth-friendly and educate others about sustainability.
Community Environmental Luminary Award: Smithfield-Team Middlesboro
During this year, Smithfield-Team Middlesboro participated in cleaning debris from Yellow Creek to provide a safe, clean place for kids to fish during a Fourth of July event. The company also participates in World Water Monitoring Day; recycles office paper and aluminum cans, donating the proceeds to the city’s Cops for Kids program; and supports several other local activities, such as Friends of the Shelter, multiple local food pantries and Relay for Life.
Resource Caretaker Award: Charles D. Williams, Munfordville
Known as “the Tree Man,” Williams has planted thousands of trees and hosted more than 4,000 forest tours for tree farmers, school children, forest landowners and others from around the country. He promotes sustainable forest practices, started the area’s Arbor Day program and was responsible for Munfordville becoming a Tree City USA for its urban forestry efforts. Williams has been designated a Golden Tree Farmer and received several awards, including the 2011 Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation for his lifelong efforts in practicing sustainability on private lands.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for an Individual/Organization: Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass, Versailles
Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass in Versailles, is a 575-acre farm that is a unique learning environment offering a variety of programs for children and adults. The center has Woodford County’s first LEED-certified building, a property-wide composting program and displays natural resource conservation efforts. A teaching garden is used for groups who visit the farm and allows participants to reconnect with the land and understand food origins. Other green practices include placing water heaters on timers, changing the majority of the lighting on the property to energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs and utilizing wood harvested during the construction of the new building for the interior.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Small Business: The Green Building, Louisville
The Green Building achieved platinum LEED certification, becoming Louisville's first commercial building to hold the honor and is Kentucky’s first Platinum Adaptive Reuse Project. Rehabilitation of the 115-year-old former dry goods store included resuscitating the structural masonry shell and infusing it with a modern core, including a 40-foot-high lobby, expansive natural lighting, ecofriendly materials and renewable energy systems, as well as extensive solar power, geothermal wells and recycled denim insulation. The Green Building is a prime example of the potential to be sustainable that exists in older structures.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Medium to Large Business––International Paper, Henderson
Sustainability and environmental stewardship are key drivers for the environmental improvement process at the International Paper containerboard mill in Henderson. The company uses a raw fiber supply of 100 percent recycled paper to produce containerboard for the corrugated box industry. In 2010, approximately 222,000 tons of discarded boxes and respective components were used instead of being sent to the landfill. Projects within the mill process have led to significant reductions in annual water usage and natural gas consumption through a grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The mill has adopted nearby South Heights Elementary School for opportunities of environmental education. A $5,000 grant from the International Paper Foundation funded the construction of a three-sided kiosk at the Warbler Trail head at Audubon State Park.