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Woodbury presents annual Environmental Excellence Awards

Winners of the 2018 Environmental Excellence Awards pose for a group photo on Wednesday, June 27. Courtesy of the city of Woodbury.

The city of Woodbury recognized five organizations and three individuals Wednesday, June 27, for making efforts toward sustainability over the previous year.

The 11th annual Environmental Excellence Awards honored several categories of environmental action. Winners were chosen from community nominations by members of the city's Parks and Natural Resources Commission.

Water Conservation — Powers Lake Townhome Association

The association switched to WaterSense "smart" irrigation controllers, which save more water than the previous clock-based controllers that were used. It also installed soil moisture sensors to let the controllers know when soil actually needs water. Overall, the group reduced water usage by 22.5 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Use of Renewable or Alternative Energy — The Grove United Methodist Church

The church was recognized for its recent installation and use of solar panels. In 2017, the church saved 115,924 pounds of carbon dioxide by generating energy through the solar panels. The church is also working on installing LED lights and has formed a sustainability committee.

Waste Reduction and Recycling — Wooddale Professional Building

The professional building's management joined with Minnesota Waste Wise to create a building-wide recycling program with a grant from BizRecycling, an organization offering grants of up to $10,000 to Ramsey and Washington County businesses to improve recycling programs. Building tenants have diverted about 4,576 pounds of recycling from the garbage, saving $1,600 per year.

Sustainable Business Practices — HealthPartners Woodbury Clinic

In 2011, the clinic started a comprehensive sustainability program that focused on energy efficiency, waste minimization, resource conservation, stakeholder engagement and infrastructure development. Since the program's beginning, the clinic has collected and safely disposed of over 15,000 pounds of medication at no cost to the community. It also used a BizRecycling grant to implement a recycling program and reduce paper use by 100 reams between 2016 and 2017. Additionally, the clinic swapped their commercial cargo vans used for deliveries for three electric vehicles, which are predicted to reduce carbon dioxide use by 44 metric tons.

Green Building (New Construction) — TRIA of Woodbury

TRIA's affiliation with HealthPartners made it a beneficiary of the same comprehensive sustainability efforts. Plans for the TRIA orthopaedic building incorporated LED lighting, automation controls, high efficiency chillers and a state-of-the-art HVAC system. There is also an internal team working to improve recycling efforts, purchase environmentally-friendly items and further energy efficiency.

Environmental Education and Awareness — Dana Boyle, Stephanie Wang, John Woodworth of the Tamarack Virtual Nature Center

Boyle, Wang and Woodworth created a buildingless nature center for the Tamarack Nature Preserve using the app iNaturalist, Facebook and a website to simulate the discoveries one could make at a physical nature center. The three are also working with the city to improve trails and signage at the preserve, which they formally adopted through Woodbury's Adopt-A-Park program.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. She is a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and trying new coffee shops. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.

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