A Clinton County beef producer and Madison County’s Green Schools coordinator were among the honorees at the HeartLands Conservancy’s second annual Green Leaf Achievement Awards presentation.
The Green Leaf Achievement Awards, which took place during HeartLands Conservancy’s annual dinner, celebrate achievements in different areas of environmental awareness — from individuals to groups to businesses — all making a local impact in conserving land, building greener communities, and engaging people with nature. Categories include Agriculture, Business/Industry, Community/County, Individual/Group, and Youth/Education.
“We are so grateful for all of the work of all of the finalists that have contributed to sustainability in Southwestern Illinois and were are pleased to honor them this evening,” said Mary Vandevord, chief operating officer of HeartLands Conservancy.
Huelsmann farm wins ag award
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David F. Huelsmann of Breese received the Green Leaf Achievement Award in Agriculture. The Huelsmann applied for assistance from HeartLands Conservancy through the IEPA 319 cost share program and made structural improvements to his 250-head beef cattle farm in order to better manage the waste produced and to limit water runoff into streams.
As a result, 317 pounds of phosphorus and 1,586 pounds of nitrogen will be reduced from entering nearby streams per year — improving water quality in the Lake Branch of the Shoal and Sugar Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Kaskaskia River.
Green Schools program wins education award
Kim Petzing, Green Schools coordinator in Madison County, received the Green Leaf Achievement Award in Youth/Education.
Created in 1990, the Green Schools Program focuses on educating young people about the importance of recycling and sustainability and currently addresses a wide range of topics including air, consumerism, energy, food, green buildings, green economy, humanitarian/social justice, landscaping, plastic bags, solid waste, and wellness.
Petzing works with more than 80 schools in Madison County, impacting over 20,000 students through the development and coordination programs including a rain barrel design competition, recycling drives, flag monitoring, rain gauge monitoring, TREX plastic film recycling, tab top collection and competitions, a clean air bookmark design contest, shoe collections, Green Seed environmental grants, earth flag celebrations, Trashformation and Photo Voice competitions.
Prairie State Generating Co. of Marissa won the Business and Industry Green Leaf Achievement Award for its beneficial reuse initiatives.
Community/County Green Leaf Achievement Award went to the city of Columbia for its Admiral Trost Development Park Master Plan.
The Sierra Club’s Piasa Palisades’ Three Rivers Project won the Individual/Group Green Leaf Achievement Award.
The Illinois RiverWatch Network at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in East Alton was also given a Green Leaf Achievement Award in Youth/Education.
About HeartLands Conservancy
HeartLands Conservancy, serving southwestern Illinois since 1989, is devoted to the conservation of land, to the preservation of green spaces in our communities, sustainable and environmentally friendly community planning, and engaging our neighbors with nature.
For more information regarding HeartLands Conservancy, to become a member, or to learn more about the work we do in Southwestern Illinois, visit HeartLandsConservancy.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.