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City honors contributions through Environmental Excellence Awards

A dental clinic, a homeowners association, a Woodbury resident and an Eagle Scout are the recipients of the city of Woodbury’s sixth annual Environmental Excellence Awards.

Recipients were nominated for their efforts in the areas of green building, use of renewable or alternative energy, youth leadership and waste reduction and recycling. The awards were presented at the Nov. 13 Woodbury City Council meeting.

Siverson Dental Clinic received the award for Green Building in a new construction.

During the design and construction of their new dental clinic, care and attention was placed on using materials that are sustainable, recyclable (or made from recyclable material), and safe for the environment, according to a city memo.

Examples of products that were installed in the clinic include recycled flooring, energy efficient lighting, low VOC paints, baseboards and countertops made from recycled material and energy efficient exhaust fans. The majority of products selected for the space include a green certification.

The Eagle Valley Homeowners Association with members Chuck Eckberg, Jeff Heinrich, Cynthia Hable and Eagle Valley residents received the award for Use of Renewable or Alternative Energy.

In 2003, the Eagle Valley Homeowners Association voted to ban certain property uses, including solar panels and compost bins. According to residents, the process was completed without homeowner input. In 2008, a homeowner contracted with a solar installer to put solar panels on his home, later to find out that solar panels were banned within the HOA. In 2011, the HOA’s board members agreed to review the rules and start the process to collect homeowner input on the current rules.

The review process included a special meeting of the association, and collection of information from both sides of the topic that was distributed to each household within the development.

Residents were asked to complete a survey to provide input on the current rules.

Survey results showed 65 percent of participants supported allowing compost bins and 75 percent of residents supported allowing solar panels.

In May 2013, the board reversed the bans on compost bins and solar panels. Members of the HOA said they hope their experience can be an example for other residents who live within an HOA with similar restrictions.

Receiving the award for Waste Reduction and Recycling was Karyn Lidell, who was anonymously nominated by a friend who has been inspired by her way of life.

Lidell has lived in Woodbury since 1972 and is described by her friends as a “passionate advocate for recycling and reusing everything you can ever imagine” and is often called the “ultimate recycler.”

Lidell actively seeks out ways to collect items from friends and members of her church and community so they can be repurposed.

Examples of Lidell’s efforts include: egg cartons – the cartons are reused by local farmers, plastic caps - collection of plastic twist caps from friends to be recycled by Aveda, greeting cards – used greeting cards from family and friends and gives them to an organization that remakes the cards for reuse and prom dresses – she collected “previously enjoyed” and gently used prom dresses to donate them for young women without the means to buy a dress.

Aadarsh Padiyath received the Youth Leadership award for developing an Eagle Scout project that would benefit his community.

Padiyath is a sophomore at Woodbury High School, and worked with city of Woodbury staff to develop the project.

He coordinated members of Troop 60 and other community volunteers to plant 40 trees around the edges of the soccer fields at Bielenberg Sports Center in August 2013. He also worked with local businesses to provide lunch for the volunteers and solicited funds to purchase refreshments for the event.

Padiyath plans to purchase a tree with leftover funds from the event, and will donate it to the city. He picked his project because he wanted to do something that helped the environment, while having a lasting impact.