2007 Environmental Excellence Awards Presented by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Nov. 19, 2007

2007 Environmental Excellence Awards Presented by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors presented its 2007 Environmental Excellence Awards at its regularly scheduled meeting today. Awards were presented to Scott Birdwell, Eleanor Quigley and Penelope Firth (county resident category); the Great Falls Citizens Association and the Invasive Management Area Volunteers (organization category); and Judy Fincham (county employee category).

Birdwell was recognized for his efforts as president of the 145-member Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center to establish the greater Mason District area as an official Community Backyard Habitat as sanctioned by the National Wildlife Federation. Through his efforts to enlist support from political, organizational and business leaders, and through a variety of public outreach efforts, more than 250 homes and businesses have been certified as official wildlife sanctuaries.

Quigley and Firth were awarded for their efforts as co-chairs of the county’s Tree Action Plan Work Group. Through their leadership skills, technical knowledge and passion for trees, Firth and Quigley deftly led this group through a complex and sometimes difficult consensus-building process that resulted in a comprehensive, long-range action plan to protect and restore the tree cover in Fairfax County.

The Great Falls Citizens Association was recognized for varied and continuing environmental stewardship efforts in the Great Falls area. Through the association’s efforts, Great Falls was designated as a Community Wildlife Habitat as sanctioned by the National Wildlife Federation. The association also has undertaken a Heritage Tree Census to identify the largest trees in the Great Falls area, including those on parkland. In addition, the association’s Trail Blazers Committee works to secure trail easements from developers and residents, and is an advocate for environmentally friendly trail design.

The Invasive Management Area Volunteers were awarded for their dedication and energy in leading teams of volunteers in removal of invasive plants from county park properties resulting in improved habitats, water quality and accessibility.

Twenty-one individuals served as team leaders in 2006 and coordinated the efforts of 875 volunteers. Their dedication and energy has inspired growth in the program, as the number of volunteer leaders more than doubled between 2006 and 2007.

Fincham, a 14-year employee with the Environmental Monitoring Branch of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, has been recognized for her implementation of the Water Environment Federation’s Sewer Science program in all 25 Fairfax County public high schools. Her outreach efforts have enhanced student awareness and appreciation of water resource issues, and opened doors for the introduction of other environmental topics to Fairfax County public schools.

The Environmental Excellence Awards are designed to recognize efforts that promote the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ environmental goals. These goals, which were adopted by the board to foster a sustainable and vibrant living environment both now and in the future, are:

  • Environmental protection, which seeks to preserve the county’s natural resources and meet or exceed federal, state and local standards for water quality, air quality and other environmental standards.
  • Open space conservation, which seeks to preserve and protect stream valleys, woodlands and other ecologically valuable areas to protect plant and animal life.
  • Energy conservation, which promotes energy efficiency and energy conservation with the public, commercial, residential and industrial sectors.

In addition to these goals, the county’s Comprehensive Plan, the Board of Supervisors’ 20-year Environmental Vision Statement, the Fairfax County Park Authority Policy Manual and other documents contain policy statements to guide county agencies, decision makers and residents.

Award winners are selected based on their advancement or support of the board and county’s environmental goals and policy statements, their dedication of personal time and expertise beyond normal fiscal or civic responsibilities, and their leadership as a role model for others.

The awards program is administered by the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council and supported by the county’s environmental coordinator, the Department of Planning and Zoning, and the Fairfax County Environmental Coordinating Committee.

For more information about this year’s award winners or the Environmental Excellence Awards, call Kambiz Agazi, environmental coordinator, at 703-324-1788, TTY 711. Previous year’s award winners are listed online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/eqac/awards.htm.

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