Environmentally-Focused Nonprofit Organization Hosted Event at Infinite Energy Center to Recognize Outstanding Environmental Stewards
Duluth, Georgia, April 29, 2016 – On Earth Day – Friday, April 22 – Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful hosted its Annual Environmental Consciousness and Stewardship (ECoS) Awards Dinner at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth to honor a handful of local heroes and community partners while paying homage to the environmentally-focused nonprofit organization’s outgoing Executive Director of the last 30 years, Connie Wiggins. To be considered for an ECoS Award, individuals, local governments and businesses must have: worked to create a greener, cleaner, more livable Gwinnett; demonstrated continuous efforts as opposed to a single project; preserved or enhanced the natural beauty of the environment; improved community and environmental practices; and improved awareness of environmental stewardship over the course of the previous year. Hundreds of people were in attendance at the event, which included a performance of the national anthem by American Idol contestant, Josiah Siska, and a heartfelt video tribute to Wiggins, as well as the presentation of ECoS awards to the following deserving honorees:
Local team members for this global engineering and project delivery company actively participate in environmental education sessions at local schools. In 2015, CH2M also provided team leaders and volunteers for Great Gwinnett Wetlands, Beaver Ruin Watershed Cleanup, and Governor’s Environmental Address.
Green Community Partner of the Year: Gwinnett County Health Department
In 2015 they hosted 22 cleanups and donated 101 volunteer hours to remove 3,930 lbs. of trash from their nearby roadways through the Adopt-A-Road program. Their involvement also includes Great Gwinnett Wetlands, Governor’s Environmental Address and Beaver Ruin Watershed Cleanup.
Green Educator of the Year: Pharr Elementary School
A participant in the Green & Healthy Schools program since 1999, over 40% of Pharr’s campus is dedicated to outdoor learning –which includes a walking trail and extensive learning gardens featuring more than 800 plants that were all started in the school’s greenhouse. Recognized as a National Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, Pharr ES students harvested over 750 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables from their gardens in 2015 – most of which was donated to Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to feed local families, including the families of some of the school’s students.
As the President of Peachtree Ridge’s Green Team and Habitat for Humanity Club, Miss Yoon is a Charter member of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s Green Youth Advisory Council – serving as a great leader and mentor for the group. She plans to pursue an Environmental Studies degree and MBA in college with dreams of one day delving into the field of alternative energy.
Green Government of the Year: City of Norcross
The City of Norcross regularly plays host to a Mega Recycle & Clean Up Event and is well-known for its lush canopy of trees – for which it has been named a Tree City USA Community for the last 11 years. 2015 marked Norcross’ fifth year as a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) Green Communities program – in which it has received the ARC’s Gold Certification.
Environmental Legacy Award: Connie Wiggins
A resident of Gwinnett County for the last 40 years, Wiggins has spent the past three decades at the helm of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful as its Executive Director. Under her watchful eye, a treasure trove of new environmentally-focused programs was developed – including the most recent Great Gwinnett Wetlands, Youth Advisory Council and ME (My Environment) Campaign. Described by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) COO Becky Lyons as one of KAB’s most successful affiliates, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful has amassed a collection of 128 trophies, honors and awards – including 65 national awards. In addition to an original Environmental Legacy Award designed by artist Alan Bush and titled “The Guardian”, Wiggins was further honored with a Key to the City from Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson and the announcement that a pavilion at Level Creek Park in Sugar Hill will bear her name.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful extends its heartiest congratulations to this year’s winners and looks forward to learning who next year’s ECoS Award contenders will be over the course of the coming months. For those aspiring environmental stewards and local businesses that wish to learn more about ways they can help, GCB encourages them to visit www.GwinnettCB.org.
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long-term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to clean and restore public places, recycle more, protect watersheds and develop the next generation of environmental stewards. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, please visit www.GwinnettCB.org.