Recipients describe their environmental contributions to the Davis community and discuss the significance of the awards
By LEVI GOLDSTEIN — email@example.com
On April 19, the City of Davis presented the 28th Annual Environmental Recognition Awards to recognize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses “who have done everything possible to improve the environmental quality of life in and around Davis,” according to the City of Davis’ website. The city also held an in-person ceremony on April 20 to honor the recipients of 2020, 2021 and 2022 and to celebrate Earth Day, according to Jenny Tan, Davis City Director of Community Engagement.
Winners included in the non-profit category Bicycle Davis and Davis Community meals and lodging (DCMH). The individual winners were Davis High School teacher Sherri Sandberg and Eric Newman Friends of the North Davis Channel Volunteer Restoration Group. The winner in the business category was Dos Coyotes coffee shop. High school student Eliot S. Larson received a special award for youth activists and organization Tree Davis received a special Environmental Legacy Reward for continued contributions to the Davis community.
According to Executive Director Erin Donley Marineau, Tree Davis celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 30th. The organization organizes tree planting events and educates the community about the importance of urban forestry and tree care.
“One of the things that makes Davis a really special place to live is our abundant green spaces, our parks, our green belts, our open spaces, and it’s a lot of space for a small community to take care of,” said Donley Marineau a interview to the Access to Davis Media. “So these people came together with the idea that a public non-profit partnership could help improve the way these parks and green spaces are maintained by bringing the people of the community together […] to move public money forward and make sure we have beautiful green spaces for all to enjoy.”
Marineau said Tree Davis was successful thanks to the town’s sense of community.
“I would say the mainstay of this organization is that the people of the community pull together to make it what it is,” Marineau said. “It really is that community glue that has kept Tree Davis strong for 30 years.”
Tree Davis’ 30th Anniversary celebrations include a bike ride and stories about the organization’s and the city’s most beloved trees.
In addition to the green spaces, bicycling plays a central role in the city of Davis. Another Environmental Recognition Award winner, Bike Davis, is a volunteer-run advocacy group promoting a bike culture in Davis, according to Board President Nico Fauchier-Magnan. They work with City Council and city employees to improve cycling infrastructure, conduct demonstrations at DJUSD schools, and host events like Loopalooza to promote cycling and reduce vehicular traffic in the city.
“Honestly, it’s a great honor to be recognized, to have our work at this level recognized by the city for the past 15 years,” said Fauchier-Magnan. “[…] It’s really very encouraging. […] It’s a really good validation of all the value we bring to the community.”
DCMH, the nonprofit’s eventual winner, provides services for people living with homelessness, including shelters, transitional housing, meals and employment programs, according to Executive Director Bill Pride. Pride said DCMH sources the ingredients for its meals from leftover produce that grocery stores would normally throw away, reducing food waste in the city.
“It’s a nice mix of helping people in need and the environment at the same time, it’s definitely a nice symbiosis,” Pride said. “The community works together to make a difference for a better life, a better community and a better earth.”
Tan said the Environmental Recognition Awards demonstrate that the City of Davis is truly committed to its climate goals and shows that the efforts of individuals and organizations for the environment are truly making an impact. For Fauchier-Magnan, the awards don’t just matter to him — they matter to the Davis community, too.
“I think it serves as an inspiration to others, highlighting all the work that is being done in the community and inspiring others to join, volunteer with an organization and help identify some of the challenges we face face in this society,” Fauchier-Magnan said.
Written by: Levi Goldstein — firstname.lastname@example.org