Larimer County, Colorado – The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today announced the 2011 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Awards. These awards, began in 1995, are given each year to honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses and organizations. To date 58 awards have been presented to programs, people and organizations since the program began 17 years ago. Today five more recipients are added. Winning programs are innovative and proactive, and show exceptional effort and concern for stewardship of the environment of Larimer County.
The County’s volunteer-citizen Environmental Advisory Board reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Commissioners who determine the recipients. For 2011 they are:
The Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op, for their comprehensive actions designed to make bicycles and bicycle riders sustainable. These efforts include: bicycle safety education for children, such as the bike rodeo and helmet distribution; repairing and returning refurbished bikes that were abandoned or unclaimed to the community and to Ghana as part of the village bicycle project; recycling the steel, aluminum, and rubber from worn out bikes; and, embracing the principle of sustainability and providing an important example.
RB + B Architects, for their Sustainability Management System. RB + B Architects help their clients design and use efficient sustainable buildings. The Sustainability Management System focuses that effort inward, and is a roadmap for the firm to achieve corporate sustainability. With the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University, they developed a comprehensive plan and framework to guide their organization. Principle elements of the plan relate to carbon emissions, health and well being, waste reduction, sustainable materials, and culture and community. RB + B Architects have demonstrated a positive example by linking business practices with internal culture for maintaining environmental stewardship.
Redstone Mitigators, for their example of how a community can work together to achieve common forest management and wildfire safety goals. A group of residents in Redstone Canyon obtained a series of grants with the Colorado State Forest Service to assist with forest management. Each grant of assistance requires a 100% match in labor from the property owners. Community crews work every Saturday from November to February to cut down and stack trees slated for removal. The grant funds are spent in the spring when a contractor with heavy equipment chips the wood waste onsite. This core group of mitigators coordinates with the Poudre Fire Authority and Larimer County Emergency Services on planning, training, and implementation. This project is an example of how a small, dedicated group of rural residents can achieve success on a scale much larger than individuals working alone. The end result is a safer more sustainable community forged through partnerships and cooperation.
The Growing Project, for their efforts to connect community members to each other, their food, and their land through urban agriculture and community gardening. Over the past four years the Project has implemented a series of projects ranging from community gardens that provide space, training, tools and food for those involved, to a Glean Team that cooperates with farmers to harvest food that might otherwise be wasted for delivery to the Food Bank for Larimer County. A youth program called Garden Time cooperates with a residential foster care facility and detention center to grow, harvest and even market locally grown food. The Growing Project has strived to continually expand its emphasis and impact, and thereby demonstrate the benefits that a committed group of people can achieve. This grass-roots group has achievements measured on many levels, including nutrition, food security, community development, youth outreach, and environmental stewardship.
Irene Little, for her sustained efforts on behalf of recycling opportunities in the Estes Park area. As Chairperson for the League of Women Voters community recycling committee in Estes Park, Irene has worked tirelessly and effectively on a number of projects, including the introduction of cardboard recycling for residents and businesses, the promotion of reusable shopping bags, and a community recycling program in Bond Park. These projects required a combination of commitment and vision, great communication skills, and persistence. Irene has effectively coordinated with county and town officials, the Park Service, private waste haulers, and local citizens and business owners. The nomination received by the County says it best: “Environmental stewards come in many sizes and shapes. In Estes Park it comes in a little, silver haired bomb shell named Irene Little”.
A complete list of Larimer County’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, 1995-2010, is located on the Virtual Courthouse, Larimer County’s web site at: