When our Growing Green Communities team decided to initiate the first annual Growing Green Communities Awards there was a lot of excitement. Over the course of a year, and three regional sustainability conferences, we’ve met many wonderful people and learned about green technology and business practices that help Texans save money, make money and create jobs. Most of our attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors have a passion for sustainable development. The Growing Green Communities Awards allow us to recognize people and businesses with that passion.
Sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the Growing Green Communities Awards honor outstanding initiatives that have created economic value and opportunity through environmental stewardship, energy conservation and sustainable practices in Texas rural communities. The awards showcase the best sustainable practices that save money, make money and/or create jobs for individuals, businesses, communities and entities in five categories:
- School districts including private schools
- Rural communities
- Electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities
- Elected officials
Eligible projects undertaken between January 2009 and December 2010 were judged on the degree to which the effort saved money, made money or created jobs as a result of an activity or initiative dedicated to energy efficiency, renewable energy solutions, creating sustainable communities or clean energy technologies. With thanks for all of the great entries, the judges have made their decisions.
The winners are:
School Districts and Private Schools
- City of Fairview, Texas
- City of Sweetwater, Texas
Electric Cooperatives and Municipal Electric Utilities
- Guadalupe County Electric Cooperative
- Bryan Texas Utilities
- Brazos Valley Trash Valet and Recycling
- Red Caboose Winery
- Recycled Granite
- Judge Terry Simpson – San Patricio County, Texas
- Judge Loyd Neal – Nueces County, Texas
The winners of the Growing Green Communities Awards have been notified, and will be featured in peer group discussions at our Growing Green Communities rural sustainability conference in Austin, Nov. 14-16. The discussions allow conference attendees (decision makers, practitioners, economic developers, business leaders and other community leaders) to exchange knowledge and experience, as well as identify opportunities for wider implementation of sustainable practices.
If you are fortunate to know one of these individuals or entities, please take a moment to congratulate them for promoting sustainable rural development. We’ll be blogging about each category in the coming days.
There’s still time to register for the conference! We’re hosting an excellent lineup of speakers and a three-track program featuring the best sustainable practices from Texas and the world. Sponsorships and exhibition tables are still available. For more information, contact Ann.Lauter@teexmail.tamu.edu or 979-458-4723.