CORE Colorado has named the Highlands Ranch Metro District Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS) supervisors as finalists for its 2011 Sustainability Champion Awards. The statewide program is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Environmental Partnership, ColoradoBiz Magazine and CORE Colorado (Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy). The supervisors nominated are Nick Adamson, Dirk Ambrose, Ed Biederbeck, Bob Claiborne, Dennis Donovan, Nick Giauque, Shawn Khankan and Jill Nunes.
The supervisors are recognized for their achievements in delivering parks, recreation and open space services that serve the community’s needs and also benefit the environment, the economy and society. As a team, they have effectively reduced the Metro District’s carbon footprint by implementing sustainable practices in open space, parks maintenance, facilities, parkways, forestry, park services, fleet and recreation. Their efforts save energy, reduce waste, prevent pollution, reduce water usage and saves money.
“We are excited that our supervisors are being recognized for the great work they do every day for the community of Highlands Ranch,” said Carrie Ward, director of parks, recreation and open space. “To be a finalist for the Sustainability Champion Award reinforces how important it is to seek out sustainable practices in everything we do and tells us that our supervisors are already doing this. I am proud to work with such an innovative group of people.”
The PROS supervisors have incorporated a number of green practices in their specialized fields. These include:
- Installing solar-powered locks and lights and waterless urinals in park restrooms;
- Transitioning holiday light displays to energy efficient LED lighting;
- Installing dog waste bag dispensers made of recycled materials;
- Adding hybrid and electric vehicles to its fleet;
- Implementing a tree planting program that provides for 150 new trees planted in the community each year;
- Converting landscaping beds along parkways and medians to Xeriscape and mulch;
- Using reuse water to irrigate the community’s largest park – Redstone Park;
- Reusing sports equipment that is deemed safe to use;
- Implementing an innovative watering strategy that conserves water used for outdoor irrigation; and
- Conducting weekly playground inspections that prolong the life of the equipment and reduces liability claims due to faulty or maturing equipment.
The finalists are invited to attend an awards ceremony on Monday, April 11 at the Sustainable Opportunities Summit, where the winners will be announced.
The Sustainability Champion Award recognizes teams from industry, educational institutions, business, non-profits and local, state or federal government. The nominees were required to have a demonstrated commitment to going above and beyond required duties in the creation and implementation of successful sustainability-oriented programs and initiatives. Forty-four nominations were submitted this year. The Metro District PROS Supervisors are among three finalists in their category.
To learn more about the Metro District’s sustainability practices, visit the Metro District’s Green Page at www.highlandsranch.org.