The City of Syracuse received the first GreeningUSA "Sustainable Community" award at the group's Annual Meeting held May 4 in downtown Syracuse. After a year of comprehensive and detailed assessment in its 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities© rating system, GreeningUSA determined that the City had achieved the program's "Sustainable Community" level of certification.
"It is an honor to be named a Sustainable Community by GreeningUSA. As the first community in the nation to complete the 12 Traits© of Sustainability assessment, we are proud to be working with GreeningUSA on this innovative program," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. "This assessment will provide the roadmap Syracuse needs to develop a clear and ambitious action plan for making our city a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable community."
After receiving their award, City of Syracuse representatives presented their experiences with the 12 Traits© program, providing an open and frank discussion about not only the City's sustainable achievements, but also those areas which need improvement.
"We are grateful to the City for their hard work and perseverance during the successful beta test of the 12 Traits©," said Diane Brandli, President of GreeningUSA. "And, we should all thank the City for their continued commitment to an even more sustainable community in the future."
In addition, the following local residents and organizations received GreeningUSA's "Sustaining Our Community" award recognizing their environmental, economic and/or social sustainability leadership in 2010:
- Tracie Hall, Executive Director, U.S. Green Building Council, New York Upstate Chapter
Construction Practices Award – Successfully leading the Upstate Chapter of the USGBC efforts to promote sustainable construction practices.
- Frank Cetera, OCC Small Business Development Center & Alchemical Nursery
Economic Development Award – Leadership in the field of small business development through administering the Green Business Award Program, and development of the green business certification program.
- Save the Rain, Joanne Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive
Governmental Leadership Award – For creating the "Save the Rain" program, an innovative program utilizing public education and green infrastructure as part of the County's initiatives to clean-up and restore Onondaga Lake.
- Syracuse Grows, Mable Wilson and Jonnell Robinson, co-chairs
Community Enrichment Award – A community collaboration to cultivate a just "foodscape" in the City of Syracuse, Syracuse Grows works to build local capacity for community gardening and urban agriculture and strives to create viable on-the-ground conditions for urban food production through advocacy, programming, and resource support.
- Levanna Restoration Lumber, Doug Holland, Owner
Sustainable Product Development Award – Levanna Lumber offers wide plank flooring and accessories made from the finest historical barn wood reclaimed in Central New York and giving new use to prized wood that would otherwise be lost forever.
GreeningUSA also presented awards to several of its members in recognition of their 2010 accomplishments:
- Cal Bowne
Member of the Year Award – Recognition for outstanding service and leadership in support GreeningUSA's mission in developing and presenting sustainability issues to the community.
- Peter Arsenault
Outstanding Service Award – Recognition for development and promotion of the 12 Traits Sustainable Communities program and beta test.
- Diane Brandli
Outstanding Service Award – Recognition for serving as GreeningUSA's newsletter editor/producer, chair of the communications and membership committees, and filling in as board secretary.
- GreeningUSA Education Committee
Outstanding Service Award – Recognition for its efforts in the creation of the Bridging Education for Sustainability conference last fall.
"GreeningUSA extends their sincere thanks and congratulations to all those who work so hard toward a sustainable future for their community," said Brandli. "This is extremely rewarding and important work, and we urge more individuals, groups, businesses, schools, organizations and communities to get involved."