It’s an Earth Fair Superhero Thing

Do you know an individual, family, business, group, school or classroom doing great things for our environment in the Blue Water Area? Are they an Earth Fair superhero? If you think so, than we do too and we want to know about it! Is what you’re doing helping to improve, protect or restore our environment? Self-nomination is encouraged so we want to hear about you, from you. It will only take a moment to complete our short nomination form.

One winner from each category was recognized during the Earth Fair Opening Ceremony on Saturday, April 29 on the Main Stage. Meet our four new Earth Fair superheroes, who walked away with our inaugural awards to proudly display! There’s no other environmental award like this in the Blue Water Area!


Who is an Earth Fair Environmental Superhero?

These four local winners were honored at the 2017 Earth Fair Opening Ceremony as part of our new Green Guardian Award program. Congratulations to these Green Guardians on being selected to receive our inaugural award! Thank you for all you have done and are doing to make Earth Day every day in the Blue Water Area.

Bob Hunckler – INDIVIDUAL
Bob has been a geography, earth science and environmental studies professor at St. Clair County Community College (SC4) for the last 17 years. Through field trips and a Multidisciplinary approach, he weaves his courses full of ecological education, reminding students that nature is all around us. In 2016, Bob was honored with the Blessinger Award for Teaching Excellence.

With a few of his colleagues, Bob was instrumental in developing the Living Labs concept at SC4. Living Labs use the campus infrastructure to teach students and the public about how sustainability measures can be implemented to save energy, treat stormwater, and create green spaces. Bob and other professors are now able to take educational field trips right on the main campus. Seeing a need for campus-wide recycling, Bob rallied students, faculty and staff to implement a Green Team at the college to fulfill that need. Under his supervision, students designed, built and deployed a series of recycling stations, along with an education program to teach staff and students about recycling.

Outside of class, Bob served on the planning committee for Earth Fair and has been a loyal supporter since its inception. He made some of the SC4 recycling bins available for use at the event, and often asked his students to participate in his exhibitor booths exploring such topics as alternative energy and the environment of the Blue Water Area. In 2014, Bob helped to form and co-lead a group of individuals, agencies and organizations to develop, fund, and install a series of interpretive panels along the St. Clair and Black rivers. The signs inform residents and visitors about the history, ecology and culture of our region. All in highly visible locations and are constructed of durable materials, ensuring many years of educational value.

U.S. Farathane, Port Huron – BUSINESS
U.S. Farathane in Port Huron has been recycling for a number of years; however, has recently pushed harder for a greener footprint to the environment. Joyce Evans leads the recycling program and the staff provides the support needed to encourage recycling success. The Keep America Beautiful Program was implemented in 2014 to show the employees the importance of recycling, keeping trash to the bare minimum which has been an improvement on the environment and in 2016 they won the Keep America Beautiful Award for a business. Over 300 recycled crafts were made and distributed out as prizes.

Recycling education became an ongoing series of events. The 1st year was an introduction to America Recycles, encouraging employees to recycle at home and at work. The 2nd year was an enhanced recycling program; daily activities such as recycling word searches and quizzes as well as recycling trivia. Prizes were given to all who participated. U.S. Farathane Port Huron won the DEQ award in 2015 for this Enhanced Recycling Program. Daily activities revolve around recycling. All employees were involved in the recycling activities and all were awarded recycled prizes. Prizes were made from egg cartons, plastic water bottles, glass bottles, Coffee Mate bottles, cardboard, old books, magazines, newspapers, soup cans, cereal boxes; plastic bottle caps, plastic gallon jugs,etc.

Results of this initiative are that less trash is being produced and going to the landfill. Measurable for 2014 waste compactor loads for the year was 79.16 Tons or 16 pulls; 2015 after implementing the recycling awareness it went down to 76.88 Tons or 13 pulls. During 2015 we had sales growth and additional employees. 2016 compactor pulls continued to go down because of employees being more careful about throwing items away. Others are checking to see if an item can be recycled when they are not sure.

Woodland Developmental School Classroom 216 – SCHOOL
Room 216 at the Woodland Developmental Center on St. Clair County RESA’s campus initiated and developed a recycling program at their school six years ago. It soon spread campus-wide. Woodland shares its grounds with the RESA TEC School as well as the Administration building. The students in Room 216 continue to pick up recyclables from all of these locations. Students sort, crush and up-cycle items that they collect. Woodland students also collect batteries and takes them to the local landfill for proper disposal.

Room 216 uses old shopping carts in order to aid in sorting and collecting items. Each day they sort two shopping carts full of plastics, paper and cardboard, and the recycling dumpster is filled every four months. They also perform paper shredding and fill 1 ½ semi-trucks each year. A new project Room 216 started last year is washing Gatorade bottles for the Blue Water Audubon Society’s birdfeeder craft. In 2016 they processed 400 bottles and in 2017 it is estimated that they will process 850 bottles.

The Woodland Developmental Center has a curriculum designed to encourage individuals with cognitive impairments to develop life skills. The recycling program is a big part of preparing students for life after graduation. This program not only helps the environment but also helps foster student development.

St. Clair County Road Commission – GROUP
The Adopt-A-County Road Program is a St. Clair County Road Commission initiative designed to bring Blue Water Area community members together by taking ownership to beautify and clean St. Clair County’s roadsides. The premise is that interested organizations "adopt" a section of the county’s road system to clean and care for it three times a year.

The Road Commission has been operating this program for 13 years. The most impressive results of this program are that 8,911 bags of litter have been collected to date! That is 685 bags of trash every year that don’t have a chance to pollute our waterways and contaminate our natural areas. Annually, the program averages 45 active groups cleaning 75 miles of roads. Participants include service clubs, churches, school and community groups; Scouts, 4-H Clubs, businesses, families and sportsmen. The Road Commission is committed to spending several thousand dollars a year on this program to provide free bags for litter, free pickup service for filled bags, and maintain existing and creating new Adopt A Road signage. The end result is that individuals have a sense of pride by doing their part to clean and beautify St. Clair County, leaving the Blue Water Area a better place to live, work and play.


Award Categories

Business - recognizes businesses in St. Clair County for demonstrating dedication to environmental leadership and issues. Nominated businesses should be involved in promoting sustainability in the workplace or community, raising awareness of environmental issues with staff or customers, and/or reducing the business’ impact on the environment.

Individual - recognizes a resident or family of St. Clair County for their commitment to the environment. Examples of award criteria may include: reducing consumption of non-renewable resources, recycling leadership, increasing home efficiency, reducing carbon footprint, cleaning up an outdoor area, opting for local/sustainable food choices, and following natural lawn and gardening practices.

Group - recognizes the environmental contributions that a group has made resulting in increased environmental awareness of environmental issues. A group may be youth or adult service clubs, scouts, church, community group, social clubs, neighborhood, 4-H group, or non-profit.

School/ Classroom - recognizes a K-12 classroom or school involved in environmental initiatives that have resulted in a cleaner, greener property or neighborhood. Examples of initiatives could include waste reduction and recycling, energy conservation, fundraisers, specific school or classroom projects, and public education.


Nomination Form – Deadline for nomination is February 28


Description of Achievement

In no more than one page, describe why the nominee deserves to win the Green Guardian Award for the selected category. The description should include the nominee’s efforts and achievements, describe the actions of the nominee, and how their initiatives and/or efforts enhanced, preserved, restored and/or protected the environment. Photos and supporting materials are encouraged and may be attached.


Additional Notes

  • Nomination forms are due by February 28, 2017
  • Forms can be completed electronically or emailed, faxed or mailed in. Send completed forms and attachments to meeker.taylor@gmail.com, (Fax) 810-985-5533, or mail to: SCCHD, 3415 28th Street, Port Huron, MI  48060
  • Self-nomination is encouraged
  • Nominees must reside in St. Clair County
  • Only one recipient from each category will be selected
  • Nominations forms are reviewed by the Earth Fair Committee
  • Nominators will be notified in early April if their nominee was selected
  • Winners will be presented with their award on the Earth Fair Main Stage on Saturday, April 29 at 10:30am
  • Questions? Contact meeker.taylor@gmail.com

 

Thank You 2017 Earth Fair Sponsors!

Cargill SEMCO Energy Renewal by Andersen Hansen's Meijer St. Clair Packaging Eighth Day Media, LLC United Healthcare Community Plan Ever Dry Vinckier Foods Chris's Bunnies Blue Water Transit Cargill SEMCO Energy Renewal by Andersen Hansen's Meijer St. Clair Packaging Eighth Day Media, LLC United Healthcare Community Plan Ever Dry Vinckier Foods Chris's Bunnies Blue Water Transit Cargill DTE Energy SEMCO Energy Renewal by Andersen Hansen's McDonald's Meijer Domtar St. Clair Packaging Eighth Day Media, LLC United Healthcare Community Plan Ever Dry Vinckier Foods Chris's Bunnies Blue Water Transit Cargill DTE Energy SEMCO Energy Renewal by Andersen Hansen's McDonald's Meijer Domtar St. Clair Packaging Eighth Day Media, LLC United Healthcare Community Plan Ever Dry Vinckier Foods Chris's Bunnies Blue Water Transit


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