Governor Environmental Stewardship Awards Announced

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 | 07:00pm

Nashville, Tenn. – Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke announced the winners of the 2007 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards today. The 12 winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Nashville in June.

“Taking care of our air, land and water is essential to preserving Tennessee’s outdoor tradition,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “I want to express my congratulations to each of these individuals, organizations and groups whose stewardship accomplishments are helping us protect Tennessee’s precious natural resources.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exemplary voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives that are not required by law or regulations. This marks the 21st year for the awards program. Thirty-nine professionals from various public and private organizations judged more than 100 nominations to determine the award recipients.

The winner of one additional honor, the Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award, will not be revealed until the awards ceremony in June.

“Our environment impacts everything from recreational activities to the health of our communities, and I believe it is important to recognize the people and organizations that work so hard to protect it,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke. “I am pleased to acknowledge and celebrate these Tennesseans who go above and beyond to enhance the condition of our shared environment.”

The 2007 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award winners are:

Category: Agriculture/Forestry
Raymond Cooper Farm Grazing Technology for Water Quality
Cannon County

Raymond Cooper Farm Grazing Technology for water quality has installed fences, several pipelines and water systems at strategic locations throughout the farm to help protect and manage the grass base and implements a rotational grazing system. The system allows the farm to reduce its output cost significantly by using less fertilizer and harvesting less hay. Raymond Cooper has also excluded his cattle from a stream and ponds on the property to preserve water quality and habitat for the Barrens Topminnow, which is considered a threatened species by the State of Tennessee and is only located in Cannon, Coffee and Warren Counties.

Category: Aquatic Resource Preservation
Tennessee Department of Agriculture Sevenmile Creek – Ellington Restoration Project
Davidson County

The Sevenmile Creek Restoration project encompasses the installation of seven storm water retention structures, which capture over 90 percent of all the rainfall and runoff that exists on the Ellington campus, as well as the grading and planting of native shrubs and flowers on approximately 1,000 linear feet of vertical and eroding stream banks. Forty acres of the floodplain on campus were placed in a perpetual conservation easement and six parking lot filtration basins were designed and constructed with porous concrete travel lanes. Rain barrels were installed, 25.5 acres of previously mowed lawns or pastures have been converted to native meadows or native storm water structures and 7,600 feet of primitive trails were created. This project represents an effort to retrofit a state-owned campus with the latest in low impact development practices, bioretention technology, aquatic habitat restoration and other progressive techniques to restore a 303(d) listed impaired stream to a higher state of water quality.

Category: Building Green
Morgan Park Place, Phase One
Davidson County

Morgan Park Place is a 72-unit, multifamily, mixed use, urban infill new construction in the Historic Germantown area of Nashville. Lawrence Brothers and New Urban Construction are developing and building one hundred percent of these units according to EarthCraft House specifications. Eighteen of the 21 units completed in Phase One of the project have received EarthCraft House certification, becoming the first in Tennessee to receive this designation, and have been qualified for the EPA Energy Star program. Each unit uses sustainable features to achieve energy efficiency, water conservation, resource conservation, indoor air quality and waste reduction. Homeowners can expect an average savings of $194-$340 in power bills per year.

Category: Energy Leadership
City of Johnson City Iris Glen Gas to Energy Partnership
Washington County

The Iris Glen Gas to Energy Partnership is a highly creative use of landfill gas that conserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse gases and provides a long-term revenue source for the City of Johnson City. Through the use of new technology, Energy Systems Group (ESG) has engineered and built a landfill gas processing system to convert raw low BTU gas to clean high BTU gas as a direct replacement for natural gas. ESG constructed a four-mile pipeline through the city to the Mountain Home Veterans Administration Medical Center where the renewable gas is converted into electricity and steam at a reduced cost over traditional natural gas. The project saves the equivalent amount of emissions as would be saved by removing 34,000 cars from the road each year, or planting 49,000 acres of trees each year, or heating over 11,000 homes.

Category: Environmental and Education Outreach
Tennessee Valley Earth Partnership EarthFest
Knox County

EarthFest promotes public awareness of environmental issues in East Tennessee, such as clean air, water, sustainable transportation, waste reduction, recycling and urban forestation. EarthFest held a “waste-free” event in 2006 at World’s Fair Park with attendance of 10,000 and 100 exhibitors with only 152 pounds of non-recyclable or compostable material produced. The event has been such a success that other event organizers in the area are modeling EarthFest’s event to make their events “waste-free.”

Category: Greenways and Trails
Maury County Parks & Recreation Tony’s Trail
Maury County

Tony’s Trail is a 10-foot wide, 763 linear foot-long curbed, motorized accessible trail specifically designed for motorized wheelchairs, power chairs, electric scooters, children’s motorized electric vehicles and traditional wheelchairs. Tony’s Trail features a large playground containing ADA accessible playground equipment as well as wheelchair accessible playground equipment. Tony’s Trail offers a unique recreational opportunity for adults and children of varying abilities and helps to foster positive intergenerational relationships.

Category: Green Schools – K-12
West Carroll Elementary “Illuminates” Solid Waste Reduction and Energy Conservation
Carroll County

West Carroll Elementary School leads the community to improve its environment. The grade 3-6 school taught Trezevant and the surrounding communities to create a positive relationship between the community and the environment. Sixth-grade teacher Mollie Vann and her students focused on recycling, energy conservation, wildlife preservation, and community environmental education. The Energy Team separated cardboard and paper from other waste to recycle 11 tons of paper. The Change a Light-Change the World campaign received pledges from 465 homes to replace and change over 2,000 incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs. The Building Buddies program recycled 508 pounds of aluminum, 650 pounds of plastic, 1,964 ink jet printer cartridges and 600 pounds of electronics. The Ring Leader program recycled plastic drink can rings to prevent wildlife loss. And “Give the Earth a Gift: Recycle” was the message shared with the community in the Christmas parade where trash was recycled to build a float. The school also sponsored a Free for All swap day that generated $56 that was donated to help pay electric bills for the needy.

Category: Green Schools – Higher Education
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) WaterWorks!
Rutherford County

WaterWorks! is a public education and outreach program of the MTSU Center for Environmental Education designed to promote clean water in Tennessee through a number of initiatives, including a series of public service announcements, advocating water quality through responsible action and print media focusing on homeowner, builder/developer, and agriculture practices that affect water quality. WaterWorks! provides educational materials and information to storm water municipalities, watershed organizations and other citizen groups and the general public to raise awareness and reinforce the message of individual responsibility for water quality in Tennessee.

Category: Hazardous Waste Reduction – Small Business
Pull-A-Part Nashville: A Part of the Solution
Davidson County

Pull-A-Part provides an innovation “green” approach for used auto parts retail sales and recycling, which creates a “win/win” for the Nashville community. Pull-A-Part removes, resells and recycles 1,000-2,000 cars each month, properly managing hazardous materials and eliminating the potential for automotive fluids to pollute waterways and ground water. Pull-A-Part partners with End-of-Life Vehicles Solutions to remove mercury switches in end-of-life vehicles. Their efforts have reduced the amount of waste generated in the recycling process by 120 pounds for each net ton of cars, prevents 1.5 million pounds of waste from entering Tennessee landfills, recycles 1,000 tons of steel each month, and has calculated that it saves enough energy to light over 2,166,667 60-watt light bulbs for over 26 hours. The facility also recycles approximately 50,000 gallons of oil, gasoline, brake fluid, transmission fluid, Freon, antifreeze and thousands of lead-acid batteries each year.

Category: Natural Heritage
Friends of Beaman Park Non Native Invasive Plant Management and Landscape Restoration
Davidson County

Beaman Park reduced, minimized and eliminated the spread of non-native invasive plants on approximately 800 acres within the park and on adjacent private lands. The goal of the restoration was to protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of forested lands in and around Beaman Park and to enhance the restoration of native plants. This was done by establishing restoration planting areas on a minimum of 200 acres to restore and rehabilitate degraded areas to prevent re-establishment of pest species, using seed supplies and other eco-specific native plant materials.

Category: Parks and Recreation
City of Chattanooga Renaissance Park
Hamilton County

Renaissance Park is a conservation and environmentally focused 23-acre brown field project that was created as a part of Chattanooga’s 21st Century Waterfront Plan. The site of enameling and stove manufacturing plants on the North Shore of the Tennessee River for over 70 years, Renaissance Park successfully demonstrates how a once-polluted area can be restored to an ecologically-sound river habitat and a natural park setting within an urban and tourism driven landscape. The city restored an urban stream ecology, enhanced river eco-systems, promoted the return of native plants and animals, raised awareness of the area’s historical significance, and maintained the balance between urban renewal and the conservation of natural resources.

Category: Pollution Prevention
SIM from Tricycle, Inc.
Hamilton County

Tricycle developed the technology to reproduce the colors and textures of carpeting on paper. By doing so, they are preserving nonrenewable resources like oil and reducing landfill waste. Most designers will request around 30 carpet samples for a single project. These carpet samples use approximately 7.5 gallons of oil to create, and the designer will often pick a few they like and discard the rest in a landfill. Tricycle eliminates that production process and creates its samples from 100 percent recyclable paper. In one year, 34,443 SIM alternative samples were shipped, 8,611 gallons of oil were saved and 51,665 pounds of carpet were not put into a landfill.

For more information about the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program, visit

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