|Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova presents an Environmental Excellence Award to Betsy Washington|
The awards recognize county residents, organizations, businesses, and county employees who dedicate time and energy to benefit the environment and support county environmental initiatives.
Washington was recognized for her commitment to conservation and restoration in the Lake Barcroft community “through education, leadership, fundraising, organizing volunteer efforts, developing partnerships, and her dedication of time, labor, expertise, enthusiasm, and passion.”
Among Washington’s accomplishments cited by the board:
- Served as secretary of the Friends of Green Springs (FROGS) board, served on the board of her former Fairfax County neighborhood, chaired a beautification committee that emphasized the greening of open spaces, and developed green gardens at several nearby schools.
- Wrote frequently about watershed-friendly landscaping as the conservation columnist for a monthly newsletter.
- Formed a partnership with the Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District to develop a landscape philosophy for the community designed to protect water quality through protecting and enhancing riparian area buffers, protecting urban forests, and using native plants in landscaping.
- Spearheaded the development of a Resource Protection Area Demonstration Garden in a shoreline area that had been overrun by invasive plants and developed a database listing more than 120 native plants in the garden.
- Coordinated native tree seedling giveaways every year on Earth Day.
- Worked with the Lake Barcroft community’s Maintenance and Improvements Committee to coordinate a native tree replacement program for residents who lose trees.
Environmental Excellence Awards were also presented to the following:
Elaine Tholen was honored for her leadership in developing hands-on environmental stewardship educational efforts within Fairfax County Public Schools. Among Tholen’s accomplishments: developing the FCPS Get2Green program; efforts to support school gardens, developing a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation supporting its Eco Schools USA program in Fairfax County, and helping Centreville Elementary School attain the “Green Flag” award.
ServiceSource, a nonprofit organization, was recognized for its commitment to waste reduction and pollution prevention through the repair and recycling of computers, while providing employment opportunities to Fairfax County residents with disabilities. ServiceSource partnered with the county’s Solid Waste Management Program to create the Keep It Green initiative, which has recycled more than 5 million pounds of electronic waste.
Walker’s Grille, in Springfield, was recognized for its implementation of environmentally sustainable practices, which led to it becoming the first restaurant in Virginia to achieve LEED Gold status. Walker’s Grille has installed high-efficiency equipment to reduce energy and water consumption, has a recycling program to reduce waste, was built with sustainable materials brought in from relatively short distances, and supports local farmers, dairies, and all-natural beef and poultry producers.
Fairfax County employee Ron Tuttle received an award in recognition for his expertise and commitment in support of environmentally sensitive site and stormwater management design for numerous county projects and the beltway Express Lanes project.
The awards program is administered by the Environmental Quality Advisory Council and supported by the county's environmental coordinator and the Department of Planning and Zoning. Recipients are selected based on their advancement of the board and county’s environmental goals, dedication of personal time and expertise beyond normal fiscal or civic responsibilities, and their leadership as a role model for others.