RICHMOND, VA. — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced the winners of the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, which were presented at the Environment Virginia Symposium at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
The awards recognize successful and innovative projects in the categories of sustainability program, environmental project, land conservation and implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan. Located all around the Commonwealth and from several sectors, winners represent a variety of achievement benefitting Virginia’s natural environment.
“The organizations recognized have proven their dedication to protecting Virginia’s environment, and it is an honor to acknowledge their achievements,” Governor McAuliffe said. “Their accomplishments can inspire others to reduce their own environmental footprint and preserve important landscapes.”
The Gold Medal winners are:
- Alexandria Renew Enterprises for its commitment to protecting public health and the environment through its Sustainability and Environmental Program, which uses innovative technologies to increase energy efficiency.
- The Fairfax County Park Authority for the restoration and conscious management of Huntley Meadows Park Wetland, which has encouraged the return of rare species and growth in stewardship education within the community.
- The James City County Department of Parks and Recreation for its exemplary implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan as demonstrated by the Freedom Park Multi-Use Trail.
- The Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in partnership with the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation for their implementation of the Renewable Energy Program, which used locally grown warm-season grasses as a renewable feedstock to provide heat for both facilities.
- The Town of Halifax for its exemplary implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan as demonstrated by the Banister River Blueway-King’s Bridge Landing Access project.
- U.S. Army Garrison, Fort A.P. Hill, for its implementation of the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, which protects undeveloped land surrounding Fort A.P. Hill including wetlands, streams, riparian forest buffer and open lands.
Award winners were chosen based on criteria including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovativeness. The awards are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Additional information on the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards is available on the DEQ website.