Feb. 8 is the deadline for Davis residents to submit nominations for the City of Davis’ 19th annual Environmental Recognition Award.
According to the city website, the awards are intended to recognize the environmental stewardship of Davis individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The winners of each category are selected by the city’s Natural Resources Commission. Nominees are judged on four criteria.
The first criterion is that the nominee’s actions address a current environmental concern. The nominee must also have an established history of benefiting the environment. In addition, the nominee must show a commitment to environmental issues. Lastly, the nominee must be implementing environmentally sustainable practices in a creative or innovative manner.
To be considered, nominated individuals must be a resident of the City of Davis. Businesses and nonprofit organizations must be located in Davis. Businesses must be licensed and nonprofit organizations must have a 501(c) or 23701d nonprofit certification.
Past recipients include the Davis Cemetery District, which won the 2012 award in the nonprofit category.
“It was an honor to win the award,” said Susan Finkleman, office manager for the Davis Cemetery District. “We were nominated by one of our office management interns from UC Davis. We have quite a lot of interns from UC Davis for horticulture and office management.”
The 20-acre cemetery is a designated wildlife habitat and over 50 species of birds can be found there, according to Finkleman.
“We have plantings deliberately intended for birds,” Finkleman said. “We also have integrative pest management, so we don’t have to use any chemicals to eradicate bugs.”
The cemetery utilizes other environmentally sustainable practices such as solar power and water conservation.
“We have our own well, and the well pump is powered by solar panels,” Finkleman said. “We use a lot of drip irrigation and native plantings. We’re very conscious of water use.”
Other past award winners include the Davis Food Co-op, which has won twice in the business category, in 1997 and 2001.
“One of our goals is to achieve and maintain a more environmentally sustainable food system,” said Doug Walter, membership director for the Davis Food Co-op. “So there is a certain point of pride [from the award] in terms of our internal scorecarding and reporting.”
According to Walter, the 1997 award was likely in recognition of the Co-op’s installation of photovoltaic materials on the roof to reduce their energy consumption and demonstrate the viability of solar energy.
“We redid our roof in a material that was highly insulating, highly reflective of heat and it had solar panels integrated into the material itself,” Walter said. “You don’t have to run wires through it.”
Nomination forms for the 2013 awards are available online at the city website and can be submitted online or dropped off as a CD, DVD or on a flash drive. Paper copies of the nomination form will not be accepted and nominations must be less than 25 pages.
According to a City Council Staff Report regarding the 2013 Environmental Recognition Awards, a subcommittee of the Natural Resources Commission will be reviewing applications the week of Feb. 11. Winners will be selected on Feb. 25 and an awards ceremony will take place at a city council meeting on Apr. 23.
MEREDITH STURMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.