The winners of the 2012 Lincoln-Lancaster County Environmental Leadership Awards were honored today at a breakfast at the Champions Club. The awards recognize businesses, organizations and individuals who have demonstrated environmental stewardship and dedication to sustainable practices that improve air, land and water quality while protecting public health.
Speakers included County Commission Chair Deb Schorr and City Council Chair Adam Hornung. Awards were presented to the following:
The new Assurity Center at 20th and "Q" streets will be the first large office building in Lincoln to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building incorporates sustainable and innovative design elements and green materials. The Assurity Sustainability Task Force establishes policies on environmentally friendly purchasing practices and recycling initiatives and promotes energy saving measures, green cleaning and a paper-free workplace. Assurity chose to build in an urban renewal area, and its headquarters anchors the Antelope Valley redevelopment area.
This hair salon began using and selling only AVEDA products in the 1990s. AVEDA makes its pure plant products using only wind energy, uses recycled packaging and sources all ingredients sustainably and often organically. Sway has worked to reduce its use of water, energy and chemicals. Since 1999, Sway has helped raise money for Audubon Nebraska's Spring Creek Prairie and Rowe Sanctuary.
Ahrens has taught and directed the Pioneers Park Nature Center preschool since its beginning in 2000. The natural environment is incorporated into classroom activities and outdoor time. Ahrens helps children develop values that will contribute to environmental stewardship and sustainable living.
For 20 years, students at this facility near Waverly have partnered with eighth-graders from St. John's School in Lincoln to clean litter along seven miles of county road near the school. Students and staff plan for the collection and recycling of the litter. Students also are responsible for collecting and recycling school trash all year.
(DLA) Maintenance Group DLA's crews keep downtown clean of litter, collect trash, sort recycling, clean graffiti and sweep cigarette butts off sidewalks. They also enhance downtown's appeal by planting and maintaining over 1,000 planting beds filled with trees, bulbs, grasses and flowers. The crew's emphasis on sustainability has reduced the amount of material sent to the landfill and decreased water use.
The City's mass transit bus system has served Lincoln for over 100 years with a mission to provide the citizens of Lincoln with a reliable, safe and affordable public transportation. Its current fleet includes 58 buses that run on bio-diesel as well as 13 hybrid electric Handi-Vans to transport senior citizens and persons with disabilities. StarTran also has installed bike racks on every bus.
Edgar and Jeurink educate the public through weekly Lincoln Journal Star articles and appearances on NET's "Backyard Farmer" program. The Master Gardeners promote sustainable practices such as composting, hand pruning and manual weeding.
Gill, a senior in construction management at UNL, helped create the Environmental Sustainability Committee through the student association. He has helped educate students and community members about environmental issues and opportunities for involvement and activism.