2012 Environmental Excellence Award Recipients
Each year, the Fairfax County Environmental Excellence Awards recognize county individuals and groups that dedicate time and energy to benefit the environment and support county environmental goals and initiatives.
The 2012 award recipients, honored at the Sept. 25 Board of Supervisors meeting, were selected by the Environmental Quality Advisory Council. For a list of recipients from past years, view the awards web page.
Elaine Tholen — County Resident Award
Recognized for her dedication, persistence and passion in formulating and implementing a variety of hands-on environmental stewardship educational efforts within Fairfax County Public Schools. The nomination highlighted:
- Assisting with the development of the Get2Green effort to green the school system.
- Partnerships with other FCPS staff to support school gardens, energy conservation and habitat enhancements at public schools.
- Developing a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation supporting its Eco Schools USA program in Fairfax County, with an increasing number of schools participating (as of August 2012, there were 45 Eco Schools in the FCPS system and many more working toward that designation).
- Leadership efforts supporting Centreville Elementary School's attainment of the "Green Flag" award, the highest award level in the Eco Schools program.
- Building partnerships to support the Get2Green project, including with George Mason University, Fairfax County Government, nonprofit environmental groups and other environmental professionals.
Betsy Washington — County Resident Award
Recognized for her commitment to conservation and restoration throughout the Lake Barcroft community through education, leadership, fundraising, organizing volunteer efforts, developing partnerships and her dedication of time, labor, expertise, enthusiasm and passion. The nomination highlighted:
- Volunteer activities, including secretary of the Friends of Green Spring (FROGS) Board; the board of her former Fairfax County neighborhood; chairmanship of a beautification committee that emphasized the greening of open spaces; developing green gardens at several schools near her Lake Barcroft community; and education, outreach and landscape conservation efforts in that community.
- Conservation columnist since 2003 for a monthly newsletter, covering a broad range of topics with an emphasis on watershed-friendly landscaping.
- Partnering with the Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District to develop a Lake Barcroft Association landscape philosophy designed to protect water quality through protecting and enhancing riparian area buffers, urban forest protection and native plants in landscaping.
- Designing and, with many partners, establishing a Resource Protection Area Demonstration Garden in a shoreline area that had been overrun by invasive plants and ongoing management, including a database listing the over 120 native plants in the garden.
- Native tree seedling giveaways each Earth Day.
- Coordinating with the Lake Barcroft Maintenance and Improvements Committee to develop a Tree Replacement Program that provides native trees to Lake Barcroft residents who have lost overstory trees, along with free site assessments advice and planting of these trees.
ServiceSource — Organization Award
Recognized for its commitment to waste reduction and pollution prevention through the repair and recycling of computers, while providing employment opportunities to Fairfax County residents with disabilities. The nomination noted that this nonprofit organization has partnered with the county’s Solid Waste Management Program in the creation and implementation of the Keep It Green Program, through which labor provided by ServiceSource is applied in the reconfiguration and/or repair of computers for reuse or the dissembling of obsolete electronics for proper recycling. The Solid Waste Management Program estimates that through these efforts more than 5 million pounds of e-wastes have been recycled, preventing the disposal of approximately 60 tons of lead at the county’s waste-to-energy facility.
Walker's Grille — Business Award
Recognized for its implementation of environmentally-sustainable practices meriting recognition as the first LEED® Gold restaurant in Virginia. The nomination noted the following statement from the U.S. Green Building Council: "This project demonstrates a steadfast commitment by the owner in conjunction with a creative team that challenged each other to identify better materials and processes while pushing the envelope of energy efficiency and water conservation. The Walker's Grille fit-out is a validation of how sustainable design and construction principles are not just reserved for traditional commercial office, institutional, and municipal construction but rather effective energy efficient and sustainable strategies that can be applied to all facilities, including the restaurant industry." Included in the restaurant's green strategies are the use of high-efficiency equipment to reduce energy and water consumption, a recycling program to reduce waste, the use of sustainable building materials brought in from relatively short distances, support of local farmers and dairies and support of all-natural beef and poultry producers.
Ron Tuttle — County Employee Award
Recognized for his expertise and commitment in support of environmentally sensitive site and stormwater management design for numerous county projects and the 495 Express Lanes project. The nomination highlighted:
- Researching various low-impact development techniques, in support of amendments to the county's Public Facilities Manual and site-specific application for individual projects in Fairfax County.
- Leading numerous county working groups. •Using a proactive approach to identifying innovative stormwater management, habitat enhancement, environmental restoration and other site design opportunities on numerous development and stormwater management projects.
- Assisting with the creation of conceptual designs and implementation of low-impact development practices for projects within Laurel Hill and the Lorton Road widening project.
- Leading the successful pursuit of design modifications to the original design of the 495 Express Lanes project to include enhanced water quality features and incorporating habitat enhancements within stormwater management facility designs.
- Nurturing partnerships with other county agencies to further environmentally sensitive design approaches to their development projects. Supporting the Fairfax County Restoration Project.