Environmental Achievement Awards
Recognizing community members, businesses, and organizations that make a significant contribution to environmental quality in Olmsted County is at the core of what the Environmental Achievement Awards stand for.
The awards were developed in 1992 to recognize individuals and groups that are making Olmsted County a more sustainable community through innovative programs and practices that demonstrate environmental leadership.
Nomination window for 2012 is now closed. Please check back in the fall of 2013.
Categories available for nomination include climate change, conservation, education, energy, renewables, sustainable food production, water, and other.
The 2012 recipients
As one of the original organizers of the Zumbro Watershed Partnership (ZWP), Ron Fuller has been a leader in protecting the Zumbro River Watershed. Mr. Fuller has volunteered his time at many ZWP events, is active in the Lake Zumbro Improvement Association and Lake Zumbro Forever, Inc, and has always served in an active capacity to further the presence and accomplishments of those organizations. Ron's efforts and vision for the watershed benefit both Olmsted County residents and all citizens who live and recreate in the watershed.
Through the spring and summer of 2012, Pam Hansen was an active volunteer assisting in stream sampling programs to access and monitor water quality conditions in Olmsted County. Pam assisted in collecting stream samples and field measurements at three sites on the Zumbro River and six sites on the Whitewater River. As a retired teacher and life-long volunteer, Pam exhibits the true spirit of civic engagement and what it means to lead by example.
As editor of the Rochester Post Bulletin, and more recently as a columnist, Bill Boyne has provided informative news coverage and thoughtful editorials on a range of environmental issues including energy, climate, water, air, infrastructure, and food. His editorials often provided a local focus to national environmental issues. His editorial advocacy has been instrumental in guiding local decisions on many of those same issues.
Nearly every day for the past four years, Louie Bortolon has walked a 1.5 mile stretch of 55th Street NW, between the East Frontage Road of Highway 52 and Essex Park, collecting debris and recycling what he can. Louie’s demonstration of civic responsibility and environmentalism sets a great example for others to follow. Louie’s efforts have resulted in clean public spaces and a more beautiful environment for those who frequent the area.
Doty and Hank Klein
Doty and Hank Klein are instrumental leaders in the Cimarron Neighborhood CROPS Garden in Kings Run Park established by the Rochester Area Foundation in 2011. Doty and Hank served on the leadership committee, organized the garden, negotiated for an area on park land, designed the area, planted the plots, and have provided support and guidance on their vast knowledge of organic gardening for other neighbors utilizing the community garden to grow their own produce. Doty and Hank have proven to their neighborhood that good things can come from hard work and dedication.
Friends of Indian Heights
Friends of Indian Heights (FOIH) is a grass-roots effort launched in 2010 by a dedicated group of neighbors to conserve, preserve, restore and improve Indian Heights Park, a 37 acre parcel in the Rochester Park System. FOIH has worked with numerous organizations to document the native plant species and wildlife habitat in the park, restore the oak savanna by removing invasive plant species, and develop educational materials and conduct tours on the ecological and historical features of the park. Members will soon work with the National Park Service to develop a community master plan to enhance the park’s environment.
John Adams Middle School “Butt Kickers”
Since 2011, the “Butt Kickers” of John Adams Middle School have worked diligently to clean public areas and educate the community about the hazards of cigarette butt litter. Their efforts have informed their peers at John Adams and the residents of Rochester that cigarette butts are toxic to our landscape adding pollutants to our local waterways and environment. Since their inception, the “Butt Kickers” have picked up over 30,000 littered cigarette butts.
Through his work as a member of the Izaak Walton League, and his position with Olmsted County, Rich Peter helped to develop a community-wide awareness of the region’s vulnerable groundwater resources. He was also instrumental in getting studies completed and ordinances adopted that ultimately provide much of the framework still in place for protecting those resources. He has also been a champion for a smoke-free indoor environment and helped lead the county and state in adopting smoke-free workplace regulations. Studies have found that those regulations have reduced heart attack rates in the county by 33 percent.