As part of its long-standing commitment to innovative efforts that support adoption of renewable energy and preserve air and water quality, the Board of Supervisors will present the 11th annual Green Leadership Awards on Tuesday, April 23 at their regularly scheduled meeting.
The awards recognize outstanding efforts by individuals, cities, businesses and public agencies that raise the bar in improving the County’s environmental sustainability through water conservation, expansion of urban forestry, infrastructure improvements, development and promotion of non-motorized transportation, and programs and initiatives that reduce reliance on fossil fuels and sustain the region’s rich biodiversity.
“The County’s Green Leadership Awards are about honoring residents who have gone above and beyond to improve L.A. County’s environmental sustainability. Whether it is discovering new ways to conserve water, planting trees, or utilizing renewable energy, this year’s winners inspire us to make every day Earth Day,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.
“The Green Leadership Awards are a great way for the County Board of Supervisors to celebrate the innovation, diversity, and environmental commitment of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies throughout our communities,” added Gary Gero, Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer.
Following are the 2019 Green Leadership Awardees:
Chair’s Recipients (Janice Hahn, Chair, Board of Supervisors):
Artesia: Powered by Green Energy, City of Artesia The City of Artesia is in a region that is heavily burdened by environmental pollutants from industry and transportation burning fossil fuels. Its residents are continuously exposed to these emissions that have negative public health and environmental effects. Of the City’s implemented projects and policies to reduce their impact on the community, the most important was converting its facilities to 100 percent renewably-sourced electricity by participating in Southern California Edison’s Green Rate program. The City also planted 115 new trees since 2013 to absorb pollutant gases, installed bike lanes in 2014 to improve and promote non-motorized transportation, and replaced its older, inefficient lights with LED lights at its park fields, community centers, and at City Hall.
City of Cerritos Reclaimed Water Expansion Project, City of Cerritos The City of Cerritos operates and maintains one of the largest reclaimed water operations in the region. In 2016, the City of Cerritos entered into a partnership with the Forest Lawn Memorial Park to address and reduce Forest Lawn’s reliance on potable water for the irrigation of its extensive landscape. The project, coordinated with multiple jurisdictions across Los Angeles and Orange County, included the construction of 2.5 miles of underground reclaimed water pipeline to the memorial park. In its first year of service, the project provided Forest Lawn with 245 acre-feet of reclaimed water, or a savings of 80 million gallons of potable water. Annual savings is estimated at 80-130 million gallons of water.
Bolivar Park Stormwater Management Project, City of Lakewood Bolivar Park currently uses potable water for all irrigation needs. The City is implementing a smart regional stormwater best management practice that results in water quality improvements in the Los Cerritos channel, enables stormwater infiltration, and provides an alternate water supply for the park’s irrigation needs. The main goals for this project was to reduce pollution in the local beaches, by capturing and reusing or cleaning urban runoff and stormwater in flood control channels to safe levels before discharging to oceans. The infiltration chamber is estimated to infiltrate 551 acre-feet or 180 million gallons of water during an average year. This project is the first to use treated storm water and urban runoff for spray irrigation in a city park.
Growing the Urban Forest of Sustainable Paramount, City of Paramount Paramount has long taken eco-friendly actions to save energy and enhance the environment. In 2017, the City embarked upon its first Citywide tree plantings throughout parks and public open spaces. This active expansion of the urban forest not only improves air quality by filtering emissions, but also reduces the dreaded heat-island effect present in many of the disadvantaged communities located in the County. Yearly planting events have also created opportunities to engage the community as volunteers and educate them on the City’s other sustainability efforts. In the past two years, the City has planted more than 300 trees.
Los Angeles County Recipients:
Business Category – University of Southern California-Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has a seating capacity of 90,000 and hosts large scale events. Depending on multiple factors, Coliseum events can generate between 12 and 25 tons of waste. In 2015, the Coliseum implemented a zero-waste program. The Coliseum partnered with the University of Southern California Office of Sustainability, stadium concessionaire, custodial provider, and product suppliers with the goal of diverting 90%+ of game day waste from local landfills. Since then, the Coliseum has diverted over 780 tons of waste from local landfills by effectively sorting recyclable material and composting food waste/compostable serviceware.
Public Agency Category – Clean Power Alliance The use of non-renewable energy produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, which contribute to climate change, a problem that impacts all. A problem facing many local governments and communities in the County is that it may be too costly or inefficient to reduce energy emissions. By providing renewable energy to 23 County communities (representing over 700,000 customers), Clean Power Alliance is helping local governments dramatically reduce their carbon footprint and meet their climate action goals by purchasing or directly generating electricity from clean, renewable sources. Thus, introducing much more renewable energy into the grid while offering a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change at the local level.
Non-Profit Category – Grades of Green, Inc. Water scarcity and poor water quality are regional and global issues that increasingly put our communities at risk. In a 2015-2016 survey, Grades of Green (GOG) students said that water resiliency was the most important environmental issue they cared about. GOG developed the Water Campaign (WC) to properly equip future leaders with the skills needed to create water solutions in their communities and beyond. The 2018 WC empowered 530 students from schools and student groups in the County and seven other countries to involve their communities in water action. Students conserved 9.76 million gallons of water by implementing water solutions, and educated 4,200 students, parents, school administrators, district supervisors, elected officials and community members through presentations and informative campaign videos.
L.A. County Department – Department of Parks and Recreation The Eugene A. Obregon Park opened in May 1966 and offers a wide variety of park amenities and programs to local communities. For years the park was plagued with various water and energy inefficiencies due to aging infrastructure, which was exacerbated by the effects caused by climate change. With an $837,000 California State Urban Greening Grant, the Department of Parks and Recreation began upgrading the park. Completed in November 2018, the Obregon Green Pilot Project offers water, energy and stormwater sustainability improvements that aim to conserve resources, save department money, educate the public, and improve the local environment. The first of its kind, the Obregon Green Pilot Project now serves as a model to other medium-sized community parks within the County for including various sustainable elements that improve the local environment in disadvantaged communities.
The County honors Green Leadership recipients as part of its annual observance of Earth Week. The Green Leadership Awards Committee consists of the County’s Chief Sustainability Officer and subject matter experts from the Departments of Human Resources, Internal Services, Parks and Recreation, Public Health, Public Works, Regional Planning, and the Chief Executive Office, who review and evaluate all entries.