On Thursday, March 24, Mayor Greg Ballard honored five local organizations for their environmental vision in 2010.
Awards for environmental savvy were split up into five distinct categories: air; land; water; energy; and reduce, reuse, recycle. Winners were announced at a luncheon hosted by green living expert Sara Snow at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
The IndyGo Green Initiative was the worthy recipient of the air award thanks to their efforts to promote mass transportation in the city and increasing fuel and energy efficiency. IndyGo also launched an advertising campaign that bumped up the number of passengers riding the buses by 3.6 percent over the course of the year.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art claimed the land award in honor of their transformational project that turned 100 acres of woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and a 35-acre lake into a sustainably accessible public attraction called the Virginia B. Fairbanks Arts & Nature Park. The success of the project is undeniable; since the opening in 2010, more than 100,000 people have visited the park.
HealthNet, Inc. took home the water award due to their extensive effort to incorporate green technology as they renovated an antiquated Masonic Lodge to serve as the new Southwest Health & Dental Center. The completed project, with its permeable pavement parking lots and 3,000-square-foot live green roof, will be one of the first of its kind in the nation.
The Nature Conservancy snagged the honor of the energy award thanks to green savings, both environmental and monetary, made to the Efroymson Conservation Center. By using energy-efficient strategies, the Nature Conservancy will be able to trim an estimated $10,507 from their energy expenditures per year, a sum they will reinvest in the community by funding conservation work across Indiana.
Talk about a grand slam. The reduce, reuse, recycle category was knocked out of the park by the Indianapolis’ Indians “The Perfect Pitch” Recycling Program. Started during the 2010 season, the initiative led to the recycling of nearly 18 tons of plastic, aluminum, and glass at Victory Field. This impressive result was achieved by placing 85 recycling bins around the ballpark and announcing their presence to the gathered crowds through advertising.
Application deadlines for this year’s crop of sustainability success stories will be made available later on in 2011, so make sure to be on the lookout.
For more information about the sustainability movement in the city visit www.sustainindy.org.