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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

City of Davis presents 28th annual Environmental Recognition Awards

Recipients describe their environmental contributions to the Davis community and discuss the significance of the awards 


By LEVI GOLDSTEIN city@theaggie.org


On April 19, the city of Davis presented the 28th annual Environmental Recognition Awards to recognize individuals, non-profit organizations and businesses “that have gone above and beyond to improve the environmental quality of life in and around Davis,” according to the city of Davis’ website. The city also held an in-person ceremony on April 20 honoring the 2020, 2021 and 2022 recipients and celebrating Earth Day, according to Jenny Tan, the director of community engagement for the city of Davis.

The winners in the non-profit category included Bike Davis and Davis Community Meals and Housing (DCMH). The individual winners were Davis High School teacher Sherri Sandberg and Eric Newman of Friends of the North Davis Channel volunteer restoration group. The business category winner was Dos Coyotes Cafe. High school student Eliot S. Larson received a special youth activist award and the organization Tree Davis received a special environmental legacy reward for continued contributions to the Davis community. 

Tree Davis celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 30, according to Executive Director Erin Donley Marineau. The organization arranges tree-planting events and educates the community about the importance of urban forestry and how to care for trees.

“One of the things that makes Davis a really special place to live is our abundant green spaces, our parks, our green belts, our open spaces, and it’s a lot of space for a small community to care for,” Donley Marineau said in an interview for Davis Media Access. “So these folks came together with the idea that a public nonprofit partnership could help to enhance the way that these parks and green spaces are cared for by bringing the people of the community together […] to make public dollars go farther and making sure that we have beautiful green spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

Marineau said that Tree Davis has been successful thanks to the city’s sense of community. 

“I would say that the mainstay of this organization is that the people of the community pull together to make it what it is,” Marineau said. “It’s really that community glue that has kept Tree Davis strong for 30 years.”

Tree Davis’ 30th anniversary celebration will include a bike tour and storytelling about the organization’s and the city’s most loved trees. 

In addition to the green spaces, biking is also central to the city of Davis. Another Environmental Recognition Awards winner, Bike Davis, is a volunteer-run advocacy group that fosters a biking culture in Davis, according to Board of Directors President Nico Fauchier-Magnan. They work with the city council and city staff to improve biking infrastructure, carry out demonstrations in DJUSD schools and host events such as Loopalooza all to increase  biking and reduce vehicle transportation in the city. 

“It’s a huge honor, honestly, to be recognized, to have our work over the last 15 years recognized at that level by the city,” Fauchier-Magnan said. “[…] It is really really encouraging. […] It’s a really good validation of all the value we bring to the community.”

The final nonprofit winner, DCMH provides services to individuals experiencing homelessness such as shelters, transitional housing, meals and employment programs, according to Executive Director Bill Pride. Pride said that DCMH obtains ingredients for their meals from leftover produce that grocery stores would normally throw out, reducing food waste in the city.

“It’s kind of a nice merger between helping folks in need and helping the environment at the same time, it’s clearly kind of a nice symbiosis,” Pride said. “The community is working together to make a difference for a better life and a better community and a better Earth.”

Tan said that the Environmental Recognition Awards demonstrate that the city of Davis is truly committed to its climate goals and show that the efforts of both individuals and organizations for the environment really does have an impact. For Fauchier-Magnan, the awards are not just meaningful to him — they are also significant to the Davis community. 

“I think it serves as an inspiration for others to highlight all the work that is being done in the community, and inspire others to join in, and help volunteer for an organization, and help recognize some of the challenges we are facing in this society,” Fauchier-Magnan said. 


Written by: Levi Goldstein — city@theaggie.org



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