|RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam today announced the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, which recognize innovative projects that improve Virginia’s environment. Based on criteria including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovativeness, 12 winners – six gold, two silver and four bronze – as well as one honorable mention were recognized.
“The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards highlight that everyone has a role in protecting our environment and preserving our natural resources,” said Governor Northam. “While our administration has made significant progress in restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay, protecting fish and wildlife, and addressing climate change and environmental justice, we know that the challenges we face today cannot be solved by the government alone. It is people, organizations, towns and businesses like those we are recognizing today that help us accomplish our shared goals.”
Organized and hosted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards are given in the categories of sustainability program, environmental project, land conservation and implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan.
Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards Gold Medal Winners:
- City of Hopewell, Hopewell Riverwalk – The downtown out-and-back wooden boardwalk following the shoreline of the Appomattox River immersed in the wetland is a valuable tool for promoting healthy lifestyles, environmental stewardship and economic growth.
- Fairfax County Public Schools, Get2Green – The program includes investing in green infrastructure, utilizing interdisciplinary environmental curriculum and fostering community partnership while also fostering a lifetime of environmental stewardship in students.
- Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Sewer Authority, Enhanced Biosolids Reuse and Reduction Project – This project increases the quality of biosolids through thermal drying using recovered heat and increased digester gas to reduce hauling and increase disposal options.
- Neabsco Regional Park, Neabsco Creek Boardwalk – The boardwalk connects several formerly separated park sites, creating the Neabsco Regional Park and allowing access to wetlands, where tall grasses and marsh filter pollution from the river and provide a rich habitat.
- The Piedmont Environmental Council, Stewardship, Restoration, and Public Engagement at Roundabout Meadows – Partners worked together for over 20 years to preserve 326-acres at Gilberts Corner in Loudoun County to serve the community through a farm, which donates food and management practices to improve water quality and educational programs.
- Virginia Clean Cities, Clean Fuels Advancement in Virginia – By promoting clean fuels education, vehicles and infrastructure, the organization has been the driving force behind the use of over 25,000 alternative fuel vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information on the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, visit DEQ’s website.