Sustainability Commission Awards
The Jefferson County Sustainability Awards are held annually to acknowledge and celebrate environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts made by organizations, employees, students and residents in Jefferson County.
Sustainable Business Award: Cactus Jack's Saloon & Grill
The owners of Cactus Jack's Saloon and Grill are motivating their staff members and the Evergreen community in general to live more sustainably via their encouragement of and example-setting in composting, recycling, reusing, and their reduction in energy and water use. Their nomination was submitted by a customer who stated, "Their example (and a bit of good-natured nagging) have made me a believer in the importance of ALL of this."
Educator of the Year: Dr. Tim Ohno (School of Mines)
Mines may be known for their Advanced Energy Systems Graduate program, but Dr. Ohno assists undergraduates at Mines to pursue their energy interests through student advising, teaching energy classes, and via advocating for greater support for undergrad students who want to make an impact on the environment. Dr. Ohno nurtures his students by having them rethink the way they approach and generate energy, creating a skilled set of engineers who go on to work in a multitude of fields.
Volunteer of the Year: Tim Berg
Mr. Berg has spent thousands of hours advocating and working on Wildfire Mitigation and safety, he has worked with West Metro Fire Department a number of local elected officials. He started his own volunteer group, KC Volunteers, with around 250 members, and he also volunteers with Rotary Wildfire Ready. He has spoken at many events and handed out thousands of NFPA Firewise materials in his neighborhood. He also volunteers with the Colorado Native Plant Society and recently organized an earth day event for neighborhood schools.
Future Leaders Award: Shelton Elementary 5th Grade Students
Nomination received from Shelton Elementary principal, Tracy Krug:
"Our 5th Grade teachers, Cadi Gillette, Jaime Erickson and Jessica Schwindt, expanded the writing prompt in our literacy resource to tie our students' learning to letters sent to those who impact our environment. Through inquiry, students were deeply learning more about the environment from experts. Two of our students, Haven and Beck, wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In response, the EPA graciously came to Shelton Elementary to educate all of our 5th graders and tasked them with learning more about the air quality, provided air quality alert flags to let others know about the air quality and raised the awareness of why we must recycle. The experience of reaching out to experts has empowered our students to understand their importance in the world currently and in the future. They have learned that going directly to the experts helps us to become more knowledgeable and hence more impactful. Students also experienced how people do what to hear from them and connect with them because they are our future."
Eco-employee Award: Jeff Wong (City of Lakewood)
Mr. Wong is the Senior Sustainability Planner for the City of Lakewood where he is responsible for the development, implementation, and ongoing management of policies, programs, and projects that advance the City of Lakewood's adopted sustainability goals related to energy, water, the built environment, climate change mitigation, and community resilience. He is also the chair for the education committee for the Denver Branch of USGBC Colorado, where he organizes education events for the local greenbuilding and sustainability community. His nomination for the Eco-Employee Award was mostly inspired by his work on the Jefferson County Sustainability Commission (2016 - 2023) where he acted as chair and spearheaded the effort to develop the county's first Climate Action Plan (CAP). He was the driving force behind the planning, fundraising, development and official Board of County Commissioner approval of the CAP. He performed this leadership role as a volunteer, ensuring all commission members were involved and active in all aspects of the CAP's development process. Because of him, the plan never lost momentum while in the development and approval process. The CAP's official approval by the Board of County Commissioners on December 20, 2022 was a team effort, the main consistent driving force behind it being Mr. Wong's leadership, vision and expertise.
Organization/Business Award Winner: ZERO Market, Edgewater
ZERO Market provides alternatives to single-use disposable products, refills for home and body care items, and compostables or recyclables for products that would otherwise be landfill-bound at the end of their lifecycle. They also hold workshops to educate folks in sustainable practices like composting, zero waste lifestyles and creating DIY eco-friendly products.
Student/Educational Institution Award Winner: Leah Walker, School of Mines
As president of the Mines Green Team, Leah has organized Sustainability Talks and implemented Sustainability Day where she organized student volunteers in an effort to divert more than 500 pounds of food waste at the school’s cafe from ending up at the landfill, having it composted instead.
Resident Award: Shiela DeForest
Shiela DeForest founded GREAT (Golden Residents Eco Action Team) during the pandemic to help unify eco-minded Golden residents and friends into climate action. She has also led Golden Earth Week 2021, participated in cleanups for World Cleanup Day 2021, and helped stage #fridaysforfuture climate strikes with Colorado School of Mines students in downtown Golden. She also help planned Golden Earth Week 2022 with eco talks on pollination, waste management and cleanups.
Eco-Employee Award: Theresa Worsham, City of Golden
Theresa is constantly working to improve Golden’s sustainability programs, most recently having implemented compost collection programs for the city. Theresa is currently working to complete and implement the new Energy Code consultant contract, providing assistance to homeowners and developers and city staff to interpret and comply with current energy code requirements.
Ballmer Peak Distillery, Lakewood
Green Team Superheroes, Wilmot Elementary, Evergreen
Leawood Elementary, Littleton
Make It Vegan, Lakewood
Mountain Resource Center, Conifer
National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL)
Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza, Golden
Justice Services Department - Troy Betz, Christine Decker
Evergreen's Alliance for Sustainability
Jefferson County Green Schools
New Spin Bike ReCyclery
Rakia Ranney, Jefferson County Public Health