Environmental Excellence Award winners named

earthThe winners of the 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards were named at the Environment Virginia Symposium at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.

In addition to recognizing significant environmental contributions in sustainability, environmental projects and land conservation, this year’s awards also recognize exemplary implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan. Winners represent businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies located throughout the Commonwealth.

“These winners have made a commitment that all Virginians benefit from,” Governor McAuliffe said. “I congratulate and thank these organizations for their leadership, innovation and commitment to Virginia’s natural environment.”

The Gold Medal winners are:

  • The City of Richmond and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance for implementing green practices at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, which successfully managed waste with a 76 percent landfill diversion rate, offset 100 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from event operations, and created a positive legacy with resources available to future events.
  • The Luray Hawksbill Greenway Trail for the exemplary implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan by connecting the community to the natural environment along the 2-mile walking and biking trail that borders the Hawksbill Creek.
  • The Virginia Outdoors Foundation, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary, for its leadership in land conservation including the protection of more than 750,000 acres throughout the Commonwealth.

Award winners were chosen based on criteria including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovativeness.  The awards are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Additional information on the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.