FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, Mar 31, 2016
City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
Media ReleasesContact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822
2016 Sustain the Rock Award Winners Announced
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 31, 2016) – A local university’s green team, a group dedicated to Fourche Creek cleanup, a multi-national company with a green-leaning Little Rock facility, and a grassroots community organization all were honored with Sustain the Rock awards at the Seventh Annual Sustainability Summit on Thursday, March 31. Additionally, the first honoree was announced for a new award category that recognizes a City of Little Rock department, team, or individual.
“The contributions of these honorees cannot be understated,” Little Rock Sustainability Officer Melinda Glasgow said. “They have all implemented programs and initiatives that have had a direct, even immediate, impact on the environment, whether it’s through proactive conservation efforts, a new building or transit system, or improved factory procedures.”
The Sustain the Rock awards recognize those who have taken a lead in promoting sustainable practices. The Sustainability Commission selected the winners from a list of nominations. This year’s honorees are:
Volunteer Organization – Arkansas Canoe Club
The Arkansas Canoe Club promotes local advocacy for litter solutions, actively leading the charge with more than 75 cleanups that have removed 20 tons of trash from the Fourche Creek Watershed alone. In addition to the “get a little every time you go” approach to keeping Little Rock’s waterways free of debris, the Arkansas Canoe Club, led by Cowper Chadbourn, has started conducting advanced missions to remove such bulky items as ski boats, tires, mattresses, and refrigerators from not just Fourche Creek but also Rebsamen Park and Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
Education – University of Arkansas at Little Rock Sustainability Committee
Since its formation, the Sustainability Committee has helped implement numerous measures supporting long-term sustainability, including a campus garden and the introduction in 2015 of an updated transit system with six battery-operated and solar-powered vehicles that replaced an aging fuel fleet. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of academic departments have faculty engaged in sustainability-related research thanks to a new small grant program that supports the incorporation of sustainability into research activities.
Nonprofit Organization – Better Community Development
Better Community Development, a faith- and community-based organization, earned the LEED Silver designation for its new EmPowerment Center building, the first ever for the City’s Midtown area. The building serves as a national model for a community facility and is equipped with 30 residential units, offices, classrooms, conference spaces, and a kitchen. It provides low-income, underserved, and at-risk individuals and families with assistance in the form of housing, life skills and career readiness training, programs, and treatment.
Large Business – Georg Fisher Harvel, LLC
Sustainability is an integral part of the business model for this global company, which manufactures machining solutions and piping systems. Over the past few years, the company has implemented multiple processes and procedures to improve sustainability at its Little Rock facility, including waste-reduction efforts, a single stream recycling program, light sensors, automated water faucets, and energy-consumption reporting.
(*inaugural award) City of Little Rock Department – Little Rock Zoo Green Team
This diverse team of Zoo employees and members from community partner organizations has led the way in Arkansas for educational programs about conservation and sustainability. Some of the group’s many achievements at the Little Rock Zoo include xeriscaping, green roofs, a gray water treatment plant, and an innovative composting program. Outreach extends beyond green practices in the workplace and educating the Zoo’s thousands of guests – Green Team members contribute their knowledge, talent, and skills at our state parks, library systems, schools, and festivals.