Several FTLA staff members attended the USGBC Maryland Chapter’s 10th Annual Wintergreen Awards for Excellence in Green Building last week. Held at the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, an FTLA project and award winner, the event was very well attended by over 200 leaders from the local sustainability community. The Wintergreen Awards celebrate, promote and recognizes excellence in high performance buildings and environmental performance. The finalists featured a variety of projects ranging from schools to multi-family to commercial and hospitality projects. FTLA was particularly gratified to see the school entries and winners that are raising the bar for sustainability in the K-12 education sector. This is particularly important as we build a constituency for environmental literacy from kindergarten forward. Enabling children to experience sustainability in their schools facilitates STEM and project based learning and makes the concepts and practice of sustainability tangible. Winners in this category included Dunbar Senior High School, the Baltimore Design School and our own Henderson Hopkins School.
The highlight of the evening came when FTLA was recognized with the Leadership Project Award for our Community Grows Here and Green Apple Day of Service efforts. Community Grows Here donates a year’s worth of pro-bono landscape architecture, volunteer time or financial support to a local non-profit, nominated and voted on by our friends and clients via our Facebook page. Green Apple Day of Service is a national service day during which students and volunteers work to improve school grounds. Last year, FTLA worked with Roland Park Elementary/Middle School to enhance a rain garden that we installed for Green Apple Day of Service in 2013.
The Wintergreen Awards jury commented on FTLA’s dedication and outreach to the community and our emphasis on the importance of stormwater management and urban access to nature. They were also impressed with our management of time and money challenges, particularly our commitment to educate and engage the community with limited resources. We were grateful and honored to be able to recognize our partners in their achievements and be recognized for our commitment to community and sustainability by our peers.
We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to advance sustainability in both our work and our community. Next up – the Green School Summit which will be held at Waverly Elementary School on April 18. We hope to see you there!