What began seven
years ago as a vision by a few volunteers to raise public interest around local
sustainability issues, has grown into a county-wide, green social network that provides
information and resources to thousands looking to put sustainability into practice
at home, at work and in their neighborhoods.
On September 23, Sustainable
Contra Costa (SCOCO) brought people together once again for its seventh annual Contra Costa Leadership in Sustainability
and Green Building Awards gala at the Concord Hilton. Part fundraiser, part
community celebration, the event paid tribute to local champions who have made outstanding
contributions to sustainability this year. Over 250 guests were in attendance,
including County Supervisors, Candace
Anderson, John Gioia and Mary Piepho, to honor and recognize this year’s
honorees and winners. A silent auction and patio reception hosted by Plate and
Vine Restaurant, Yalla Mediterranean, and students from Mt. Diablo High
School’s very own Sustainable Hospitality Pathway program kicked off the
evening, while Stephen Herrick’s Jazz Horizons provided live music.
were given in five categories: Sustainable Communities, Food System Innovation,
Sustainable Resource Management, Green Building and youth service. An inspiring pool of talent and creativity from
all over the county made up the list of nominees.
Among the winners
for Sustainable Communities, were two local schools in Pittsburg and El Cerrito.
Under the leadership of Tom Edwards of
Martin Luther King Junior High School in Pittsburg, students launched the Ocean
Plastic Pollution project to reduce the use of plastic water bottles, while Fairmont Elementary School in El Cerrito
won a leadership award for introducing the school district’s first-ever
4CL, which stands
for Contra Costa County Climate Leaders,
took home an award for their work with policymakers to find solutions to local,
environmental issues. Environmental advocate and teacher, Sheila Hill, received an award for her ongoing work in the
Sustainable Schools program, the Wellness City Challenge, Generation Green, and
Parents for a Safer Environment.
White Pony Express was this year’s
winner in Food System Innovation for their all-volunteer organization dedicated
to relieving hunger in Contra Costa County. Though not quite two years old,
this local nonprofit has already made an impact, delivering 1.7 million pounds
of food and more than 70,000 items of new and lightly used clothing, toys and
books to people in need.
The award in
Sustainable Resource Management went to the Markham Regional Arboretum Society, a local horticulture leader. Community
engagement is the beating heart of this organization and the group has been
educating the public in chemical-free, sustainable gardening since 1981.
ceremony was capped off with a tribute to SCOCO’s young Rising Stars. Brian Wong of Alhambra High School in
Martinez and an Eagle Scout with Troop 282 and Marco Conci a freshman at Monte Vista High School in Danville and
an Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 36 both received awards for their
environmental and wildlife projects on Mt. Wanda and San Ramon Valley Creek,
Green Building projects were recognized this year. Woodbury, Lafayette’s newest eco-friendly residential complex, the Milovic residence in Lafayette and
Orinda’s Old Yellow House all received
awards for their numerous sustainable features.
SCOCO’s visionary partner, Central
Contra Costa Sanitary District, announced their Pollution Prevention Awards
to four local business groups for their exceptional efforts to minimize water
pollution and protect the environment; Concord’s
Army Reserve Center, Audi Concord, Julie Lee DDS of Walnut Creek and Republic
Services Recycling of Pacheco were this year’s winners.
Finally, guests at
the awards gala visited colorful displays and got a chance to cast their own
vote for SCOCO’s annual Seeds of Change Award. This year’s winner was the Global Student Embassy based in
Berkeley for their innovative work in creating international, service-learning
exchanges for youth that focus on the environment and sustainability.
find out more about Sustainable Contra Costa, including their new Sustainable Living
Workshop Series and upcoming Certified Sustainability Advisors Program, you can
Posted on Wed, October 14, 2015
by Kimberly Lam filed under