Davis continues its commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship by recognizing local organizations
City of Davis officials recognized the recipients of the 27th Annual City of Davis Environmental Recognition Awards at the April 20 City Council meeting.
The awards originally recognized organizations and individuals in three categories: Non-Profit, Individuals/Groups and Business. A fourth Environmental Legacy Award has also been added.
City of Davis Sustainability Coordinator and Staff Liaison to the Natural Resources Commission Kerry Loux explained that the new Environmental Legacy award was created in addition to these categories to recognize work that has impacted the community over a significant period of time.
“Five years ago we created a new award called the Legacy Award,” Loux said via email. “For example, Davis was the first city in the country to create bike lanes on our roads, so it was important that we recognized that [in 2017’s environmental awards].”
Loux detailed the process by which award winners are chosen.
“Nominations are made by community members to the Natural Resources Commission using the online nomination form,” Loux said. “[Then] the NRC appoints a subcommittee each year of two to three commissioners to review the nominations and make recommendations to the full NRC.”
These awards recognize the importance of environmental work and the positive impact it has on the community, according to Loux.
“[This recognition] both honors and recognizes businesses and nonprofits who have made a big difference in Davis and the quality of life here,” Loux said. “It also enhances people’s awareness about how important the environment is to us. Our approach to sustainability, our desire to have green belts—these awards recognize this.”
Loux stressed the importance of collaboration in environmental work, saying that change must occur on many different levels.
“I think [environmental work] is a collaborative effort,” Loux said. “In our regional work, we’ve provided guidance to other communities, but we need both regional and broad scale change. Local, households, regional, state—all levels are important.”
Davis community members can help to work toward its goals of environmental sustainability and stewardship by engaging with Davis environmental projects, Loux explained.
“We hope to get broad-based community support—both residents and businesses—to implement the prioritized actions that will provide our roadmap to carbon neutrality by 2040,” Loux said. “Help us move on a path to carbon neutrality. It’s easy to adopt the standard and now we have to make sure that it happens.”
Among the award recipients in the Non-Profit category was the Episcopal Church of Saint Martin.
Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin Reverend Dr. Pamela Dolan thanked Davis for the recognition and commended the work of other organizations.
“It’s an enormous honor to be recognized by the City of Davis, which has a well-earned reputation for being a leader in environmental work,” Dolan said via email. “We’re aware that so many other organizations in Davis, including other churches, are also putting tremendous efforts into caring for the earth.”
Dolan said that tending to and protecting the Earth is a central value of Saint Martin’s and cannot be separated from the church’s other social justice-oriented missions.
“We consider environmental stewardship and action to be core responsibilities for Christians,” Dolan said. “St. Martin’s has always been a leader in the area of social justice and we are learning that the biggest threat to justice and equality, or even just basic human flourishing, is climate change.”
Saint Martin’s commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship goes far beyond a single zero-carbon building, according to Dolan.
“It’s much more than that—the whole church operation is now carbon neutral—[we’ve added] solar arrays on two buildings and also built a solar carport,” Dolan said. “We have also made changes in other areas such as our landscaping, and we are making changes that are designed to increase carbon sequestration in the soil and decrease the water use.”
Dolan recommended that community members and students who want to start enacting these same principles of environmental action and stewardship should start now.
“Do something right now, even if it’s a small step,” Dolan said. “Students and other young people are leading the way, so if you don’t see a group doing the thing that matters most to you, start one. We’re all in this together.” Written by: Yan Yan Hustis Hayes — firstname.lastname@example.org