For Immediate Release
Choose Environmental Excellence Award Winners Announced Today
The Eleventh Annual Springfield/Greene County Choose Environmental Excellence awards were presented today, Friday, April 22, 2011, at a luncheon sponsored by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, as a part of Springfield's month-long celebration of Earth Day. Ten agencies or organizations presented awards.
The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks recognized the City of Willard for their proactive approach to safeguarding drinking water sources for their citizens. Since 2006, City staff has worked with the Missouri Rural Water Association and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to complete a Wellhead Protection Plan. Most recently, the City of Willard received a MDNR grant to aide residents in plugging abandoned wells. The City worked with Willard High School to turn an abandoned well into a state certified groundwater monitoring well, now being used by the USGS to monitor ground water levels in southwest Missouri. Matt Keener, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Operations Manager presented the award. The award was accepted by Tom Keltner, Mayor; Randy Brown, Director of Development and Justin Reaves, Public Works Director. (Contact: Loring Bullard – 417-866-1127)
Solid Waste Management District "O" Executive Board recognized Brad Leonard, a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) employee and a member of the Missouri National Guard. Brad took it upon himself to initiate recycling for MoDOT employees, their neighbors and people residing close to the MoDOT Regional Offices on Kearney while honoring his National Guard duties and being deployed to the Middle East. Greene County Administrator and Solid Waste Management District "O" Chair, Tim Smith presented the award. (Contact: Robert Hamilton 417-859-5786)
The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance, a subcommittee of the Environmental Collaborative of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, presented two awards. Ozarks Transportation Organization was selected for outstanding leadership in air pollution prevention by developing and implementing the web-based Ride Share program found at www.ozarkscomute.com. This program helps the OCAA accomplish a primary goal in the Clean Air Action Plan to reduce vehicle emissions. They also recognized Wil Fischer Distributers for outstanding leadership in air pollution prevention by creating on-site production of bio diesel, a new initiative for the distributing company. Dave Fraley, City Utilities, OCAA member, presented the awards to Natasha Longpine, Executive Director of OTO and to Dr. Jeff Gower, CEO, Wil Fischer Distributing, respectively. (Contact: Doug Neidigh 417-873-7641)
The Springfield/Greene County Environmental Advisory Board recognized Mike Kromrey, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, for his dedication to the health of our environment and his gracious public service and undying commitment to environmental protection. In addition to his professional career, he recently completed service as co-chair of the Natural Environment component of the City's Strategic Plan effort. James Owen, Chair, presented the award. (Contact: Karen McKinnis 417-830-1623).
The City of Springfield's Tree City USA Citizen's Advisory Committee recognized Bill Roach and Phil Broyles. Bill Roach, a Springfield/Greene County Parks Department employee came out of retirement to help with the aftermath of the 2007 ice storm and stayed on with the Public Works Department, working and volunteering on his own time to protect the urban forest in Springfield. Phil Broyles, Springfield Public Works Co-Interim Director was recognized for his continued support of Springfield's urban forest and of the Tree City USA Citizens Advisory Committee. Committee Chair, Janice Greene, presented the award. (Contact: Casey Kellner- 417- 864-1135, Benjamin Kellner – 417-864-1178)
The Partnership for Sustainability presented their Environmental Excellence Award to Wil Fischer companies recognizing their innovative and successful fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. This will reduce harmful emissions from petroleum based diesel. The company runs vehicles on a blend of propane, unleaded, diesel, bio-diesel, approximately a B-30 blend, and on straight vegetable oil as well. Partnership Chair-elect Bob Norton presented the award. Dr. Jeff Gower, CEO, Wil Fischer Distributing accepted the award. (Contact: Web Freeman 417- 862-8459.)
The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society recognized Dave Catlin as the recipient of their Environmental Excellence award. He has been an active member of the organization for over 10 years, providing leadership and fundraising talent, including the creation of an endowment for GOAS with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and several successful grant proposals. Myra Scroggs, President of Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, presented the award. (Contact: Myra Scroggs at 417-883-4015.)
Ozark Greenways, Inc. recognized the Central High School Environmental Club for their entrepreneurial spirit and initiative exhibited by forming their club, volunteering, and taking the responsibility to learn about business and the environment. Executive Director, Terry Whaley, presented the award. Paul Epps, Central High School, accepted the award. (Contact: Terry Whaley at 417-864-2014.)
Community Partnership of the Ozarks Environmental Collaborative recognized Dave Coonrod for decades of dedication to the protection of the natural environment or the Ozarks. His service includes volunteer work, work as an elected official and as the first Executive Director of the then newly formed Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. Michelle Garand presented the award. (Contact: Barbara Lucks 417-864-2005)
Springfield Plateau Chapter Missouri Master Naturalists recognized Bob Kipfer for his efforts in a leadership role in several organizations dedicated to furthering conservation of the natural environment, including offering his picturesque private residence, abundant with flora and fauna as a meeting and educational location. President, Carl Haworth, presented the award. (Contact: Carl Haworth at 417-569-4809)
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, Springfield-Greene County Choose Environmental Excellence at 417-864-2005, or go to www.springfieldmogov.org/cee. Please note: background information on several of these organizations can be found in the Directory Section of www.OzarksEnvironment.com