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City Presents Sustainable Eden Prairie Awards
The City of Eden Prairie presented its first-ever “Sustainable Eden Prairie Awards” at the Nov. 14 City Council meeting. The Sustainable Eden Prairie Award recognizes significant and innovative investments that contribute to the overall vitality and sustainability of the community.
Formerly called the Spirit of Eden Prairie Award, this new award program aligns with the recent launch of Sustainable Eden Prairie, an ongoing effort focusing on education and implementation of sustainable practices to protect the environment and natural resources our community enjoys. The four nomination categories reflect the initiative's focus areas – energy, landscape, waste and water.
Eden Prairie Schools (EPS) was honored in the energy category for significant investments made in energy efficiency and renewable energy in every building. Notable strategies include installing solar arrays to help power 11 buildings, subscribing to solar gardens to save energy and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and replacing all outdoor parking lot and building lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Joanne Bartel was honored in the landscape category in recognition of her investment in native plantings, bioswales and rain gardens that reduce and retain water runoff from her yard. She has installed more than 25 native plant species that provide valuable habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Bartel also promotes native and sustainable landscaping, and shares her plants with other homeowners.
Flying Dutchman Spirits, an Eden Prairie business that creates craft spirits, tied with EPS Early Childhood Education for honors in the waste category. Sustainability investments made by this small business ensure environmental impacts are considered in each step of the distilling process. Responsible distilling strategies include providing high-protein solid waste to farms for feed, using a byproduct called “heads” as a cleaner when possible, and reducing waste and cleaning equipment with a mechanical technique called “sanitized fermentation.”
Also honored in the waste category was EPS Early Childhood Education for participating in the TerraCycle recycling program, which provides an alternative waste stream for the large quantity of disposable food pouches that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage. Since joining the program, nearly 15,000 pouches have been recycled and saved from a landfill, and each year this information is shared with more than 1,000 children and their families who learn about the importance and impact of recycling to the Eden Prairie community.
Pioneer Trails Homeowners Association (Pioneer Trails HOA) was honored in the water category for efforts made toward reaching a long-term goal of reducing irrigation water usage by 1-million gallons by 2018. With an investment in new WaterSense-certified irrigation controllers and new WaterMark-certified sprinkler heads, as well as reconfiguring the placement of sprinkler heads for maximum efficiency, Pioneer Trails HOA is saving money on water bills and is well on the way to meeting its usage reduction goal by 2018.
Visit edenprairie.org/SustainableAward to learn more about this award program.