Clark County honored a half-dozen local businesses and residents last week at the third annual Green Awards ceremony, aimed at promoting sustainability and environmentally friendly practices.
The awards are intended to recognize achievements from participants in each of the county’s four primary environmental outreach programs: Green Neighbors, Green Business, Green Schools and Master Composter Recycler.
The winners were announced at a March 20 ceremony at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver. The awards were created by Clark County artist Denise Bergman using repurposed metal.
“Each year, I’m inspired by our community members’ efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment,” said Sally Fisher, environmental outreach programs coordinator.
This year’s event included a new addition: a performance from improv comedians from the Curious Comedy Theater who conducted late night TV-style interviews with each of the award winners.
Fitness studio Barre3 Felida won the Green Business award in the small business category, drawing recognition for its waste-reduction efforts including the use of towel service and refilling stations for reusable water bottles. The business was also commended for using only green cleaning products.
Semiconductor manufacturer WaferTech took home the Green Business award in the large business category for reducing its hazardous waste levels throughout its 23-year lifetime in Clark County, including by recycling water and creating recycling stations for foam, food waste and electronics. The company was also cited for its use of all green power in 2018.
A third Green Business category focuses on nonprofits and governments, and that award went to Columbia Springs, a nonprofit that operates Columbia Springs park in east Vancouver. The natural area is used to host educational programs for students and incorporates a number of sustainable design elements including permeable pavers and a cordwood classroom constructed from sustainable or recycled materials.
La Center High School teacher Rebecca Morris won the Green Apple award for her work leading the school’s Environmental Action Team, which works to maintain the school’s certification from the group Washington Green Schools. The award also highlighted the work of Morris’ students, who have built a school garden and performed waste-water reduction projects.
Clark County resident Kris Potter won the Green Neighbor award for her work on the St. Joseph Parish Garden, and resident Bill Thomas won the Master Composter Recycler Superstar award for completing the county’s Master Composter Recycler training program and teaching other community members about composting practices.