On September 15, 2020, the Jefferson County Commissioners and the Sustainability Commission presented four Sustainability Awards for outstanding achievements related to environmental stewardship and community cohesion.
This is the Sustainability Commission’s inaugural year of presenting an Eco-Employee Award that honors a Jefferson County employee and three Community Awards. These awards honor their achievements related to environmental stewardship, efficient use of resources, economic vitality, and innovation in alignment with Jefferson County's mission, vision, values and goals.
“It is with great excitement that the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners present the Sustainability Commission’s Sustainability Awards this year. 2020 is the inaugural year for this important opportunity to recognize local organizations and county employees who are leaders in educating, promoting and implementing sustainable practices in Jefferson County. We are heartened to know we have wonderful people doing this impressive and invaluable sustainability work in our community,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Casey Tighe.
This year, the Sustainability Commission chose three community awards and one eco-employee award. The three community award winners were Evergreen's Alliance for Sustainability, Jefferson County Green Schools, and a New Spin Bike ReCyclery. Evergreen's Alliance for Sustainability is being honored for its efforts focused on sustainability in the mountain communities, specifically its community-wide composting program and annual zero-waste forum. Jefferson County Green Schools is being honored for its work to reduce and eliminate the use of single use styrofoam in Jefferson County schools and educating our students about the importance of waste reduction. A New Spin Bike ReCyclery in Arvada is being recognized for providing alternative transportation to community members in need, helping develop job skills to our disabled and at-risk neighbors, and reducing our local carbon footprint by recycling and promoting the use of bicycles.
“We are incredibly excited about the inaugural year of the Sustainability Commission’s Sustainability Awards and look forward to making this an annual tradition to recognize Jeffco’s individuals and organizations that are leading the effort to make the county a more sustainable place to live and work,” said Jeff Wong, chair of the Sustainability Commission.
Rakia Ranney is being honored with the 2020 Eco-Employee Award for pioneering and championing the compost and organics collection program within the Jefferson County Department of Public Health. Ms. Ranney’s effort helped divert hundreds of pounds of organic waste from our landfills each month and she is a shining example of going above and beyond for her colleagues and the residents of Jefferson County. Rakia stated, “I believe it is our responsibility to leave this planet better than we found it. Sustainability work is never ending, and I am committed to a lifetime of work learning and adapting to our changing environment, while taking every possible action to improve personal, interpersonal, and structural sustainability practices. I’m so grateful to receive recognition for my work thus far, and am extremely motivated to build on these efforts within our community and beyond.”
Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability is being honored with the 2020 Community Award for being a sustainability leader in the county. The Alliance holds an annual zero waste forum and runs a very successful community-wide composting program. Its work makes composting in mountain towns such as Evergreen and surrounding communities easy. The alliance is emblematic of how community members can come together to create great things for the environment and each other!
Jefferson County Green Schools is being honored with the 2020 Community Award for tackling the growing challenge of landfill waste in local schools. The school's grass roots approach to implementing impactful changes in our schools, including the reduction/elimination of single-use styrofoam trays in cafeterias, is a great example of its leadership in the county. The school's work continues to educate and provide hands-on learning for the children of Jefferson County.
“The mission of Jefferson County Green Schools, which is affiliated with Green Up Our Schools, is to reduce the amount of material sent to landfill through improving process and procedures and involving student engagement both at the Jeffco Schools district level as well as individual Jeffco Schools. We are honored to receive this award from the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, and we look forward to working with the new superintendent and other leaders within Jeffco Schools on furthering this mission which includes supporting the following goals for Jeffco Schools: hiring a Sustainability Coordinator, coordinating education and implementation of recycling in cafeterias and classrooms, planning for future durable and washable food trays where feasible, and creating a system that monitors and tracks waste diversion success,” said Renee Azerbegi, Jefferson County Green Schools
A New Spin Bike ReCyclery is being honored with the 2020 Community Award for its commitment to providing alternative transportation to community members in need, helping develop job skills to our disabled and at-risk neighbors, and reducing our local carbon footprint by recycling and promoting the use of bicycles. Accepting the award on behalf of A New Spin Bike Recyclery, Bob Matter said, “We are exceptionally thankful to the Jeffco county commissioners as well as the Jeffco departments we have worked with for their support of our mission. It means a lot to have our county recognize and help create an environment that promotes health, inclusion and sustainability for everyone.”
Learn more on the Sustainability Commission Sustainability Commission web page.