Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus presented the 1st Annual Green Achievement Awards today during a luncheon attended by more than 75 community members at the Community Center at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “We are so fortunate to have so many individuals and organizations working hard to help lead the way in thinking and behaving green. Our Green Achievement Awards are our way of recognizing those who have gone the extra mile to preserve and protect our environment.”
The County Executive’s Green Achievement Awards are part of the Executive’s "Dutchess Goes Green" Agenda announced in January during his 2007 State of the County address. One of the goals outlined in the address was to get the public involved in countywide efforts to “think and behave green.” The Green Achievement Awards were designed to credit the good work of individuals and corporations who are making strides to help sustain and protect the environment.
“We want to catapult the good examples of green thinking from being exception to becoming the normal, everyday way of doing business in Dutchess County,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
Letters were sent to community leaders and town officials throughout Dutchess County encouraging them to share examples of “green achievers.” Nominations for the County Executive’s Green Achievement Awards were submitted for five different categories: Government, Educational, Non-Profit, Commercial and Individual.
The County Executive’s 2007 Green Achievement Award Winners are as follows:
Winner in the Government Category:
Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency for expansion of the Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) Disposal Days Program to include the acceptance of Compact Florescent Light (CFL) bulbs. As more Dutchess County residents begin to use the more efficient bulbs, it is important to realize CFL bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury, which can be harmful to the environment if they are thrown in the regular solid waste stream. DCRRA Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Days provide residents a chance to safely dispose of CFL bulbs as well as other hazardous waste such as paints, pool chemicals and electronics. Resident participation for Hazardous Household Waste Disposal Day is up nearly 20% as compared to last year.
Award was accepted by DCRRA Executive Director William Calagero.
Winner in the Education Category:
Millbrook Central School District and the Institute of Ecological Studies for their collaboration to develop a GREEN curriculum. Millbrook Central School District has entered into a long-term partnership with the Institute for Ecosystem Studies (IES) to produce an Ecosystem Literacy Curriculum for grades K-12. This curriculum envisions developing, implementing, and assessing essential understandings in a set of conceptual and developmentally appropriate learning progressions. Begun in the spring and summer of 2007, the first curriculum development collaborative resulted in a “water cycle” learning progression strand for grades K-5. Millbrook teacher representatives, along with IES educators and research staff, worked interactively to blend the focus of grade level units within a context of achieving state standard, embedding ecosystem research and using local environmental/site based resources.
Full implementation of this initial pilot curriculum will ensue throughout 2007-08, with revisions and extensions to other grades and other strands planned for the future. Over their matriculation through the grade levels, students will be exposed to and are intended to evolve a “systems” understanding about how man’s and nature’s interactions within the environment serve to sustain or interrupt the quality of the ecosystem in which we live.
Award was accepted by Alden Place Elementary School Principal Tom Libka.
Winner in the Non-Profit Category:
Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce (GSDCC) for the promotion of GREEN businesses at its annual Connections Business and Consumer Expo through the addition of the GREEN AISLE. The GREEN AISLE featured businesses and organizations that are environmentally friendly and health conscious. The GSDCC has recognized Green is not only good for the environment, but it is also good for business. As the public becomes more aware of the need to and the benefits of thinking and behaving Green, business opportunities will continue to increase. The GSDCC has positioned itself to help create employment opportunities by expanding these businesses in Dutchess County through networking and promotions like the Connections showcase.
Award was accepted by Sheila Fields, Marketing and Communication Director and Carolyn Osborne, Vice President of Programs and Events
Winner in the Commercial Category:
Kirchhoff Construction Management Inc. for its efforts to seek LEED “Silver Certification” for its commercial office renovation in Pleasant Valley. LEED is the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Some of the notable sustainable features incorporated into the office building renovation include site design replaces impervious (asphalt) services with grass islands, Geothermal Energy used to heat and cool reception and conference areas by drilling 3 wells, maximization of energy efficiency through use of highly efficient HVAC equipment and increased zoning and individual office controls.
Other sustainable features include large operable windows to provide natural day light. Over 75% of the building’s occupied areas will receive natural light. Water use will be reduced by limiting lawn irrigation and using low volume toilets. All demolition and construction material is recycled. Sustainable and local materials are used throughout the building including wood from responsibly managed forests and indoor air quality will be improved through the use of products with very low to zero volatile organic compounds (VOCS) in paints, adhesives, glues and carpets.
Award was accepted by owner Joe Kirchhoff.
Winner in the Individual Category:
Dr. James Utter was recognized for his efforts and work as Chairman and prime activator of Friends of the Great Swamp – also known as FrOGS. FrOGS is dedicated to the preservation of the most important environmental feature in the Harlem Valley-- the 6,000 acre, twenty-mile-long Great Swamp. Through Dr. Utter's tireless leadership FrOGS has worked to make the numerous benefits of the Great Swamp widely known in our County and beyond.
Dr. Utter has embraced the value of collaboration, bringing together more than 15 local organizations and individuals. Together, they have worked to obtain easements and ownership protection for hundreds of threatened Great Swamp acres, funded by Federal grants and private donations. Successful grant applications have totaled over $3 million dollars.
Dr. Utter is an Associate Professor of wetland ecology and ornithology at SUNY Purchase.
Several FrOGS board members joined Dr. Utter accepting the award.
Zoie Reil, Recyling Coordinator for the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency said, “Thank you to everyone in this room today. Your efforts are helping to protect the environment and preserve it for the future of our entire community.”
“Encouraging people to think and behave green is really promoting positive behavior that protects our resources and our communities both now and in the future,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
The following is a complete list of 2007 Green Achievement Award nominations:
- Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency nominated in the Government category for Expansion of the Hazardous Household Waste Disposal Days Program to include the acceptance of CFL bulbs.
- Town of Fishkill nominated in the Government category for the restoration of Camp Foster Park.
- Dutchess Community College nominated in the Educational category for Campus Energy Initiatives including energy efficient building refurbishments, geo-thermal heating & cooling system as well as their Campus Wide Energy Management System.
- Millbrook Central School District and the Institute of Ecological Studies nominated in the Educational category for their collaboration to develop a GREEN Curriculum for grades K-12.
- The Millbrook School nominated in the Educational category for their efforts seeking LEED “Gold Certification” for construction of their new Math and Science building.
- The Culinary Institute of America nominated in the Non-Profit category for the green construction design of Anton Plaza which features a patented Garden Roof technology to manage storm water in an environmentally friendly method. The CIA was also nominated for the energy efficient design of their Student Townhouse Project featuring an Energy Recovery System with Enthalpy Wheel that has resulted in annual energy usage reduction of 52%.
- St. Francis Hospital nominated in the Non-Profit category for the efforts of their Environmental Services Department including the use of Green Seal certified chemicals for cleaning & maintenance, campus wide recycling program and the reduction of medical waste.
- Dutchess Land Conservancy nominated in the Non-Profit category for their efforts in protect more than 24,000 acres of Farmland, open space, habitat and scenic roads.
- Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce nominated in the Non-Profit category for their efforts to promote environmentally friendly businesses at its annual Connections Business and Consumer Expo through the addition of the GREEN AISLE.
- Blacktop Maintenance Corp (BTM) nominated in the Commercial category for their Recycling Crushing Technology (RCT) which recycles construction materials to create a zero waste system. Each year BTM/RCT has recycles over 50,000 tons of material.
- IBM - Poughkeepsie Central Utility Plant nominated in the Commercial category for their stream reduction efforts which should save more than 1200 MCF of natural gas per year.
- IBM - East Fishkill nominated in the Commercial category for their innovative process that has resulted in the reduction of nitrogen discharges by over 2,000,000 pounds per year.
- Kirchhoff Office Building Renovation nominated in the Commercial category for their efforts to seek LEED “Silver Certification” for Commercial Office Renovation in Pleasant Valley.
- Dr. James Utter nominated in the Individual category for his efforts and work as Chairman and prime activator of Friends of the Great Swamp.
- Erik Kiviat, Ph.D. nominated in the Individual category for his efforts and work as Executive Director and co-founder of Hudsonia Ltd. - a non-advocacy, scientific voice in land use planning and environmental management in the Hudson Valley.