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2015GreenGlobesAll

King County Executive Dow Constantine on April 20 honored 14 businesses, cities, organizations and people for the work they’re doing to protect and improve the local environment. The Green Globe Awards are the County’s highest honor for local environmental efforts.

The nonprofit organization Seattle Tilth today took home the top award for what it has done to increase access to locally grown, affordable food.

“Everyone in our region benefits from the work that the Green Globe recipients are doing, whether it’s creating a local farm-to-table pipeline, preserving open spaces, restoring natural habitats, or confronting climate change,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Not only are they protecting our environment – they’re improving our quality of life.”

The top honor – the Environmental Catalyst Award – went to Seattle Tilth, whose work complements Executive Constantine’s Local Food Initiative by creating a sustainable farm-to-table pipeline that supports local farmers and improves human health by increasing access to healthy foods.

Andrea Dwyer accepted the award on behalf of Seattle Tilth, which served on Executive Constantine’s Local Food Initiative “Kitchen Cabinet” and is partnering on a USDA-funded pilot project with King County and Pike Place market to manage the County-owned Green River Farm and promote sustainable and efficient farming practices.

The Green Globe Awards are presented every two years to coincide with Earth Day activities.

Recipients of 2015 Green Globe Awards

Environmental Catalyst:
Seattle Tilth

Seattle Tilth has served on King County’s Local Food Initiative’s Kitchen Cabinet and is partnering on a USDA-funded pilot project with King County and Pike Place to manage the County-owned Green River Farm and bring sustainable and efficient farming practices to the farmers currently on that property.

Leader in Confronting Climate Change:
Ashley Zanolli, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

2015 Green Globe Award presentation

Zanolli is EPA’s West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum co-lead and provides support for food waste prevention programs to municipalities. King County’s successful Food: Too Good to Waste was designed through collaboration with EPA Region 10. With Zanolli’s help, King County is one of the first partners to implement this program in the United States to address the issue of consumer food waste – a worldwide problem with significant financial, environmental and social impacts.

Leader in Sustainable Building:
Martha Rose Construction

Martha Rose has been leading the way for other builders by pushing the energy efficiency envelope and incorporating solar panels, electric car charging and low impact development. Martha Rose Construction partnered in development of the Built Green program, makes its green building projects available as learning tools for others, and serves as a key advisor on green building issues. Teaching real estate agents, homebuyers, bankers and everyone else about sustainable building practices has been an integral part of the sales strategy for Martha Rose Construction.

Leader in Sustainable Schools:
Tahoma School District

No school district in the county has done more than the Tahoma School District to improve their conservation practices or involve students in conservation and outreach efforts. Tahoma has participated in the King County Green Schools Program since 2007 and has since become first school district in the county to be recognized as a Level Three Green School District for its waste reduction and recycling, energy conservation and water conservation achievements. Tahoma School District has also worked to ensure it adhered to the County’s urban growth boundary recommendations. 

Leader in Open Space Conservation:
Dave Kappler, Issaquah Trails Club

Kappler has been a tireless advocate for open space lands in King County. As president of Issaquah Alps Trails Club, he is a voice for the protection of not only trails but the open spaces through which they run. The club was a strong advocate for the creation of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, West Tiger Natural Resources Conservation Area, Tiger Mountain State Forest, and numerous parks and open spaces. With Save Squak Mountain, Kappler pushed for acquiring 226 acres of land on Squak Mountain coveted for its ecological value, including sheltering the headwaters of a salmon-bearing stream.

2015 Green Globe Award presentation

Leader in Community Stewardship:
Glenn Glover, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

The extremely successful Duthie Mountain Bike Park was built through a partnership between Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and King County. Evergreen is dedicated to trail building and maintenance, advocacy and education. Created in 1989 as a grassroots solution to local trail networks closing to riders, last year Evergreen partnered with public land managers to donate more than 10,000 hours of volunteer labor. Evergreen is taking on a new project in King County Parks to build a mountain bike skills course in south King County’s Black Diamond Open Space.

Leader in Beneficial Use of Recycled Water:
Willows Run Golf Course

Willows Run Golf Course is pioneering sustainable golf course management for the Puget Sound region. By switching to King County recycled water for irrigation, Willows Run has kept nearly 40 million gallons of water annually in the Sammamish River basin helping to preserve stream flow for fish. The Sammamish River is an important corridor for salmon, and having more water in the river improves water quality and habitat conditions for all fish and wildlife. Because recycled water contains many of the same nutrients found in fertilizer, Willows Run immediately noticed a beneficial greening of its turf with recycled water use. Accordingly, Willows Run was also able to reduce fertilizer use.

Leader in Equity and Social Justice:
The Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

ECOSS is a nonprofit organization that encourages urban redevelopment and a healthy environment by providing education, resources and technical assistance to diverse businesses and communities in the Puget Sound region. Since 1994 ECOSS has effectively engaged and shared information with thousands of residents and small businesses in multiple languages across a number of key environmental topics, including water quality and pollution prevention and green stormwater infrastructure. ECOSS has been an invaluable collaborator and partner with King County in educating the public about water quality and green stormwater infrastructure. 

Leader in Green Stormwater Infrastructure:
Stewardship Partners’ 12,000 Rain Gardens Campaign

Stewardship Partners is a catalyst, empowering landowners to conserve and protect our natural landscapes through outreach and partnerships. The organization restores and stewards the watersheds of the region. One of its four main platforms is the 12,000 Rain Gardens Campaign, where the organization works with homeowners to install rain gardens that beautify neighborhoods and keep pollution out of Puget Sound. Stewardship Partners has been a collaborator and partner in working to educate the public about green stormwater infrastructure and specifically promoting the KingCounty/Seattle Public Utilities RainWise Program.

Leader in Helping Landowners Steward Natural Resources:
King Conservation District

King Conservation District’s (KCD) mission is to help landowners steward their natural resources. This special purpose district provides landowners in King County with educational and technical assistance related to land use and natural resource best management practices. Several new programs are addressing emerging natural resource issues and responding to needs in King County, including a $1 million local food economy grant program, which will support helping farmers get more agricultural product to markets, and support maintaining more agricultural land as open space. KCD is also adding a new rural and urban forestry program that will provide resources to help private property owners keep  their  forestlands healthy, and doubling funding for its shoreline education and technical assistance program.

Leader in Planning for Sustainability:
City of Duvall

With an EPA grant, Duvall is using the innovative Watershed Characterization model to plan for the future. Under this model, the City looks at stream basins within and around Duvall to determine existing conditions and development capacity, assess critical natural resources and determine effective stormwater management strategies. Duvall is an important partner with King County in the Snoqualmie Valley generally and on Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 7’s Snoqualmie Watershed Forum in particular.

Leader in Habitat Restoration:
Lower Mapes Creek Restoration, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle Parks and Recreation

The Lower Mapes Creek restoration project, completed in early 2015, re-established 440 feet of natural stream channel through Beer Sheva Park and reconnected the creek to Lake Washington to provide critical rearing habitat for juvenile chinook salmon in southeast Seattle. The project also enhanced a park in an underserved area of Seattle and was done in tandem with a SPU project to reduce combined sewer overflows to Lake Washington. The Mapes Creek restoration project was partially funded by Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8-directed grants through the King Conservation District, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program. Seattle is a key partner with King County and others in WRIA 8 salmon recovery efforts.

Leader in Environmentally Sustainable Business Practices:
Goodbye Graffiti

Goodbye Graffiti’s sustainable business practices have earned it 5-Star certification from the EnviroStars program. It uses a water-borne wax coating for porous surfaces specially formulated by their parent company, which allows for graffiti removal with little or no hazardous product and up to 80 percent less water. Vehicles have built-in wastewater collection technology they pioneered, and graffiti removal sites are bermed, to ensure no releases to the stormwater system. It also uses electric fleet vehicles, educates customers and other businesses with EnviroStars materials, and its weekly maintenance program has proven to lower the incidence of graffiti.