Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on April 20, 2011 honored twelve businesses, individuals and organizations that have demonstrated environmental leadership during the 2011 Sustainable Saint Paul awards. Among the awardees, Hmong Village (Kos Hmoob) received the “Green Practices Award” which recognizes organizations that have developed innovative practices which lower environment impact.
The Hmong Village opened in October of 2010 and is a collection of over 300 indoor merchant stalls, fresh produce vendors, bustling kitchens and offices geared toward the region’s large population of Hmong residents, many of whom live in Saint Paul.
Co-founder Yong Yia Vang worked with Ramsey County’s Public Health staff and consultants to design and implement recycling and composting into this large commercial operation and honor the Hmong culture. The goal was to be able to recycle all cardboard, paper, bottles, cans and food waste.
Food waste is collected by the restaurants and produce vendors and goes to a pig farmer. Hmong Village has demonstrated that planning for recycling and composting early pays off.
The Sustainable Saint Paul awards pay tribute to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through leadership in their respective categories. By sponsoring these awards, Mayor Coleman encourages all residents, businesses, community groups and non-profits in Saint Paul to implement similar projects. These efforts further enhance the City’s quality of life and make Saint Paul the Most Livable City in America.
The other 2011 Sustainable Saint Paul Award Winners include Humboldt High School, which received the “Environmental Education and Awareness Award” to recognize programs and concepts which develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand the inter-relatedness among humans, culture and environment.
Humboldt High School has gone through significant changes in recent years and worked with partners to increase student achievement, engage students with the natural world, and connect them more comprehensively with their school and neighborhood.
Demonstrating it’s new role as an environmental school and neighborhood asset, students at Humboldt have constructed raised vegetable beds for urban agriculture projects; handicap-accessible vegetable and herb beds; planted native gardens around the school that create habitat and rain gardens to capture water run-off from roofs.
These physical manifestations of the new Humboldt instill teachers and students with pride of place; promote student/school identification; and allow the school community to integrate more fully with the surrounding West Side neighborhood.
The Waste-Free Rondo Partnership received the “Youth Leadership Award”, which recognizes the accomplishments of an individual student, school group, organization or youth club.
In 2010 the Waste-Free Rondo Partnership which includes the Rondo Avenue Inc. Board of Directors, Arts-Us, Coolidge Hauling, Eureka Recycling and the MN Pollution Control Agency, focused its energy on engaging and educating youth and creating the “Collard Green Team” to divert waste and inform attendees of Rondo Days events – many of whom were their own parents and grandparents – on the importance of protecting the environment.
The “Exceptional Environmental Steward” went to Pete Emeott, for extraordinary efforts of an individual who for years helped his neighbors help the environment. For the past 25 years, Emeott has been organizing volunteers to move the recyclables of homes and yards of disabled persons in District 1 neighborhoods. For the past five years, the program has doubled the number those assisted to more than over 40 seniors/disabled people.
Friends of the Mississippi River’s Mississippi River Gorge Stewardship Program received the “Natural Resources Restoration Award”, honoring community groups and residents who replant, restore, and reclaim the urban environment into opportunities for the social and physical renewal.
J & J Distributing received the “Energy Efficiency & Conservation Award” which honors efforts to reduce energy consumption, energy costs and green house gas emissions.
District 1 ComeClean! Initiative received the “Clean-up and Beautification Award”, which honors groups or individuals demonstrating commitment to the improvement of the Saint Paul community, environment and beautification of our surroundings
The First National Bank Building received the “Transportation Options” award, which recognizes day-to-day or long-term efforts which are improving fleets, alternative fuels, car-sharing, transit, biking and other carbon reducing forms of transportation.
GovDelivery received the “Green Product Award” for establishing a digital messaging billing alternative to paper. The award goes to organizations that have developed innovative products or services of low environmental impact.
The Lyric at Carlton Place received the “Green Building- Residential Design Award” to honor design, development, and construction of new green residential buildings.
Warners’ Stellian Appliance received the “Waste Reduction, Recycling and Composting Award” which honors programs or projects that contribute to the development of waste prevention, reduction, recycling and composting.
St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department, Operations Division – Rain Garden Installation, received the “Sustainable City Staff” award to recognize city employees who continually go beyond their normal duties to incorporate sustainable practices into their every day activities.
“These twelve recipients represent the best in sustainable initiatives for this past year,” Mayor Coleman said. “I admire their dedication to making our environment better every day. I am proud to be giving these awards to people and organizations whose efforts continue to make Saint Paul a national environmental leader.”