For Immediate Release
Choose Environmental Excellence Award Winners
The ninth Annual Springfield/Greene County Choose Environmental Excellence awards were presented today, Friday, April 17, 2009, at a luncheon at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, as a part of Springfield’s Earth Day festivities. Nine agencies or organizations presented awards.
Ozark Greenways, Inc. recognized Hood-Rich Architects and Engineers. Since the inception of Ozark Greenways in 1989, the staff and partners of Hood-Rich Architecture & Engineers have been involved with the advancement of our community’s greenway system both in professional design and community support. In addition to untold hours of professional support through the involvement with the Ozark Greenways Technical Committee, the staff of Hood-Rich has given individually through membership, and special event sponsorship. As a company they have consistently participated as a lead underwriter for the annual Ozark Greenways fall fundraiser, which will celebrate its 11th year in 2009. As a company and as individual staff members, the work of Hood-Rich and Jeff Bentley can be viewed on many of the local trails and appreciated by trail users on a daily basis. Whether on the South Creek Trail and crossing the Kansas Expressway overpass, on the Jordan Creek Trail walking the unique and challenging trail design woven into a storm water project, or along Galloway Creek Greenway and Trail where the use of “rumber “ or recycled rubber for bridge decks is a unique feature. Hood-Rich and Jeff Bentley have made a lasting mark on our community’s trail system that will last for many more years. Executive Director Terry Whaley presented the award.
(Contact: Terry Whaley – 864-2014)
The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks recognized Price-Cutter Stores, which have implemented a large number of Eco-Friendly Actions, including composting food wastes, promoting reusable cloth grocery bags, recycling cardboard and reducing electricity use. Erick Taylor, Price Cutter President, said in a written statement, “the Price Cutter commitment to helping our neighbors includes protecting the environment where we live.” Cutting back on energy use and composting and recycling also conserve and protect our water. We are proud to have Price-Cutter as our recipient for this year’s award. Loring Bullard, Executive Director, presented the award.
(Contact: Loring Bullard – 866-1127)
Solid Waste Management District “O” Executive Board recognized the Urban Districts Alliance for their Downtown Glass Recycling Project. The program was launched in August 2008, after the Urban Districts Alliance received a grant from the Waste District. Through the grant, a partnership with a local business – Heart of America – and efforts of staff from the Downtown Community Improvement District (CID), the program has been able to provide containers to 8 participating businesses as well as a part-time contractor, Mr. Larry Zehner, who picks up the glass and transports it to the City’s Franklin Avenue Recycling Center. The grant also includes reimbursement for the City of Springfield to cover transportation and processing costs for the glass. It is scheduled to be used in construction projects. Between Aug. 15, 2008 and Jan. 15, 2009, UDA recycled over 19 tons of glass and the overwhelming success of the project has attracted another 8 businesses to join – bringing the current participation to 16. The goal of UDA is to have l00 percent of the businesses downtown participating in two years. Greene County Administrator and Solid Waste Management District “O” Chair, Tim Smith presented the award.
(Contact: Robert Hamilton 417-859-5786)
The Waste District “O” also recognized Jim Hull, retired Director of Missouri Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Management Program for his tireless efforts in advancing the cause of recycling and waste minimization in Missouri. Hull served with the MDNR for twenty three years, holding positions as Director of Water Protection Program, Chief of Engineering and Planning Section of the Solid Waste Management Program as well as Director of the Solid Waste Management Program. The very well-respected Mr. Hull is a past president of the Missouri Waste control Coalition, a member of the Missouri Recycling Association, the Solid Waste Association of North America (Missouri Chapter) and has served on the board of the Product Stewardship Institute. Greene County Administrator and Solid Waste Advisory Board Chair Tim Smith presented the award.
(Contact: Robert Hamilton 417-859-5786)
The Waste District “O” also recognized members of Springfield City Council, Allied Waste Services, Waste Corporation of America - Missouri, and City of Springfield Public Works staff for the successful negotiation of a “put or pay” contract whereby a mutually agreed upon amount of tonnage is delivered daily to the Springfield Sanitary Landfill, thus providing a stable level of funding for the City-provided services and facilities of Springfield’s voter-approved Integrated Solid Waste Management System. This includes regulatory obligations for the operation and closure/post-closure of the Springfield Sanitary Landfill, operation of the Household Chemical Collection Center, City-operated Recycling Centers, the Yardwaste Recycling Center, the Market Development Program, and the Information and Education Program. (The Curbside Recycling component is provided by private solid waste haulers.) Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod presented the award.
(Contact: Robert Hamilton 417-859-5786)
The Springfield/Greene County Environmental Advisory Board recognized Matt O’Reilly, owner of Dynamic Earth and Green Circle Shopping Center. He is a purposeful businessman that has taken the lead in developing green building in the Ozarks by pushing the envelope with the soon to be LEED Platinum certified Green Circle Shopping Center – the first in the country. He is a leading member of the Ozarks Green Building Coalition (OGBC), was chosen for GO Magazine's "20 Under 30" in 2007, and encourages people to get outside and appreciate the outdoors through various activities with other organizations such as the Ozark's Greenways or Ozark Mountain Paddlers.
(Contact: Mike Kromrey 417- 866-1127)
The City of Springfield’s Tree City USA Citizen’s Advisory Committee recognized Friends of the Garden. Founded in 2000, Friends of the Garden has worked tirelessly to establish and facilitate a Botanical Center, gardens, and arboretum at Springfield’s Close Botanical Gardens, Lake Drummond, Nathanael Greene Park, and Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. Through private fund raising and support from its members, they have provided more than $60,000 a year, since its inception, in cash, plants, and volunteer hours. The arboretum began with trees on the property acquired as the park site in 1998. The Missouri Department of Conservation subsequently provided a $10,000 grant to finance the planting of 57 native trees, signage, labeling, and maintenance. Today it contains many species of trees, some 66 of which are native to Missouri, and more are being added. A red maple tree will be planted at Nathanael Greene Park to commemorate the award. The award was presented by Dan Compass.
The TCUSACAC also recognized the Springfield/Greene County Parks Department and the City of Springfield’s Public Works Department for their joint cooperation in maintaining the Parks/Public Works Nursery. The nursery represents a cooperative arrangement that increases purchasing power, sharing equipment and personnel as well as providing suitable holding space and care to maximize seasonal buying schedules. Trees are delivered and held until individual project sites are ready for planting, which can sometimes involve several months. Some hard-to-find tree species are currently grown from saplings. Jodie Adams, Director, Springfield/Greene County Parks and Marc Thornsberry, Springfield Public Works Director accepted the award. Liberty American Elm trees will be planted at Smith Park and at the Public Works Operations Center to mark the award. The award was presented by Dan Compass.
(Contact: Joe Payne- 864-1954)
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce presented their annual Springfield/Greene County “Choose Environmental Excellence” Business Award. Each year, the Chamber recognizes a Chamber member whose efforts toward environmental stewardship serve as a model for business and industry.
The 2009 recipient is Southern Missouri Containers Packaging Group. Locally owned, a manufacturer and distributor of corrugated packaging, packaging supplies and packaging equipment, part of SMC’s mission includes providing all aspects of service in “an ethically and environmentally responsible manner.” Nearly 76 percent of the materials produced in the industry, on the whole are recycled. SMC recently earned their Sustainable Forestry Certification (from the Sustainable Forests Institute) for its three manufacturing locations, which means two-thirds of the company’s raw materials originate from mills with certified wood fiber procurement systems or recycled paper sources. In addition, SMC has one “zero carbon footprint” mill and two mills where l00 percent of the fibers used are post-consumer secondary fiber. SMC also formed a Sustainability Study Group made up of SMC employees company-wide to ensure the longevity and continual progress of SMC’s environmentally sustainable efforts. The award was presented by Matt Morrow, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, the recipient of the 2008 award.
(Contact Jen Johnson 862-5567)
The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society recognized Sue Schuble as the recipient of this year’s Conservation Environmental Excellence award. She is a previous Vice President and President of the Chapter and presently a member of the Board of Directors. She is a tireless volunteer for several different organizations, including the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Wonders of Wildlife. She is also a facilitator at the new WOLF (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) school. Her talent and skills as a teacher and coach earned her a place in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and she is a truly committed hall of famer as an environmental educator. Audubon Chapter President, Charles Burwick presented the award.
(Contact Charles Burwick 889-0995)
Barbara Lucks Environmental/Conservation Education Award was presented to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Last October, the Nature Center celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their opening. Since 1988, nearly 2.1 million visitors have toured the facility to learn about conservation and to discover nature through first-hand experiences. In the first two weeks, over 17,000 people visited the Center. More than 4 million visitors have walked the nearly 3 miles of trails meandering through a variety of Ozarks habitats and 650,000 have attended programs. Many local organizations use the Nature Center to hold meetings and celebrations, to take advantage of educational opportunities and to just gather and enjoy the out of doors. The award was sponsored by and presented by Barbara Lucks.
(Contact: Barbara Lucks – 417-864-2005.)
Community Partnership of the Ozarks Environmental Collaborative recognized Loring Bullard, Executive Director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks for a long and successful career. Bullard is known for his passion for clean water. He has worked with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks since 1989. In that time, the organization has grown from just one staff member to five full time staff. In his persistent pursuit of a sustainable water future, Bullard has devoted countless hours to the Watershed Center Project. He has authored several publications including, “Consider the Source” and “Jordan Creek: Story of an Urban Stream.” He is respected statewide for his knowledge and commitment of water resources. Michelle Garand presented the award.
(Contact: Barbara Lucks 864-2005)
Choose Environmental Excellence is a voluntary, non-regulatory education program that encourages increased awareness of our impact on our natural environment, presents viable alternatives and recognizes accomplishments that foster environmentally responsible decisions.
For additional information, contact Barbara Lucks, Project Coordinator at 864-2005.