Larimer County, Colorado – The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today announced the 2010 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Awards. These awards, first presented in 1995, are given each year to honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses and organizations. To date 53 awards have been presented to programs, people and organizations since the program began 16 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 2010 they are:
Big Thompson Elementary School of Nature and Science, for their innovative educational approach involving students, teachers and community partners in a comprehensive program spanning the elementary curriculum which creates opportunities for learning and action. For example, the 3rd grade Green Team students are responsible for sorting and managing materials collected for the recycling program. The 5th grade Worm Wranglers monitor and promote a worm composting project for cafeteria waste. Together these two programs have reduced cafeteria waste by over 40%. An important benefit to the students continues to be the partnerships with area agencies.
Wes Rutt, for his tireless efforts to empower landowners to manage their forested property to counter the effects of mountain pine beetles. Through Beetle Busters, Mr. Rutt is leading a major effort to help teach people how to treat infected trees on their property. Volunteers trained through the Beetle Busters are available to help landowners with management efforts, accomplished through site visits, identification assistance, flagging of beetle-infested trees, and providing accurate information on removal and treatment of infested trees. The pine beetle epidemic affects public and private lands and is unprecedented in scale. It is easy for a private landowner to give up in the face of such destruction. Wes Rutt and the Beetle Busters provide help to these landowners by empowering them with the technical support and knowledge they need to take action.
EnergyLogic, for their serious and sustained efforts to promote energy efficient new homes. EnergyLogic provides energy auditing and rating services to help builders construct and certify homes under the EPA’s Energy Star program. Through their business model, the company has provided services to over 100 home builders and trained over 400 energy raters and auditors. This effort greatly increases the impact that one company can make for energy conservation. Homes built to Energy Star standards are more comfortable and provide a healthier indoor environment, plus they ensure long-term savings on energy bills while protecting the environment. EnergyLogic has helped improve over 10,000 new homes in Colorado. They have also helped to raise the knowledge and skill of home builders who build new houses.
Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, for their commitment to community education about raptors and their importance in the natural environment. The raptor program has been rescuing and rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned raptors in Colorado since 1979. The genius of the program is that they fully understand the inspirational value of these magnificent birds. Last year the Rocky Mountain Raptor program provided 130 presentations to 51 schools, 16 children’s organizations, and 63 various adult and family groups. These presentations allowed more than 11,000 audience members to gain knowledge about raptors and conservation. In addition, program staff and volunteers host booths at community events like New West Fest in Fort Collins. Our modern lifestyle means that many people to not have an opportunity to experience raptors in the wild. The Rocky Mountain Raptor program brings an important and inspirational piece of our natural environment to children and adults throughout the region.
National Center for Craftsmanship, for their DeConstruct training program. The National Center for Craftsmanship is a Fort Collins based non-profit organization founded in 2006 with the goal of preserving and enhancing quality craftsmanship. The DeConstruct training program is an integral part of the Center. Existing buildings that are slated to be torn down are utilized in a unique training program that involves educators, trainers, private contractors and students. Buildings are carefully dismantled and the materials are salvaged, sold or recycled. To date, the projects have diverted hundreds of tons of materials from landfills. Students benefit by learning construction and conservation techniques through the deconstruction process. Property owners benefit because they are able to credit the reduction of waste for their new construction project under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification program. And our community benefits not only from the reduced landfill burden, but also from the energy and material savings that are achieved through saving useable materials.
A complete list of Larimer County’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, 1995-2009, is located on the Virtual Courthouse, Larimer County’s web site at: http://larimer.org/boards/eab/Awards/env_awards_winners.htm .