Golden Pinecone Awards

GREENevada Announces Winners of the Golden Pinecone Awards 2016
Purchase Tickets Today for Awards Event Held at PepperMill Resort Spa Casino on November 1, 2016

GREENevada announces the winners for the 2016 Golden Pinecone Award event hosted to recognize outstanding organizations and individuals for their achievements toward improving and sustaining the environment.  We invite the business community to attend the event to honor the significant accomplishments of individuals and organizations that utilize the triple bottom line practices (social, environmental and financial) in their mode of operation.

The 2016 Golden PineCone Awards are being hosted by GREENevada and will take place on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nevada.  The ticket price for the event is $50 per person or $500 for a table for 10.  Go to the GREENevada site for more details and a link to purchase tickets.

GREENevada is giving recognition in nine (9) categories:
Educator:  Leigh Metcalfe, Reed High School
Educational Program:  Envirolution Project Recharge
Individual / Volunteer: Sue Jacox, Great Basin Outdoor School
Nonprofit Organization or Federal/State Agency:  Sierra Nevada Journeys
Public Servant or Agency Representative: Carol Perry, Regional Transportation Commission
Small Business:  Envirohaven
Medium to Large Business:  One Nevada Credit Union, Reno
Youth Leadership – Cecy Cervantes, Student Assistant, USAC, Sparks, NV
Innovation Award:  Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful/Nevada Land Trust for the One Truckee River Management Plan
GREENevada thanks its sponsors for this important community recognition event.  Support is provided by The Peppermill Resort Casino, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), NV Energy, Boise Paper, the Office Depot, Reno Printing and Boondoggle band.

The Golden Pinecone Ball was started by Tod Bedrosian, Bob Fulkerson, Glenn Miller and Bob Loux to bring the environmental community together as friends and initially to get the community excited about stopping the dump of nuclear waste.  The pinecone awards were handmade out of plywood, an ironic twist on formal award ceremonies to honor environmental achievements of the past year.
About GREENevada

GREENevada stands for Growing Resources for Environmental Education in Nevada and is a consortium of 20+ environmental organizations in Northern Nevada whose mission is to foster sustainability through environmental education and leadership. The fiscal sponsor for the event is greenUP!, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. For more information,

Background on Individuals and Organizations Awarded

Educator: Leigh Metcalfe

Leigh advises the Reed High EcoWarriors, a green club. The EcoWarriors have raised more than $25,000 in grants since 2010. Their accomplishments include: renovating two of Reed’s bathrooms with lo-flow toilets and sinks, auto-sensor lights and air hand dryers, installing a water bottle refilling station, transforming the school’s recycling system and making Reed an Idle Free School. Because of these accomplishments, Reed received a parking lot solar array. Leigh has been teaching Envirolution’s Project ReCharge energy curriculum for the last few years, helping students learn in a hands on way how to be energy detectives and conserve at home and in their school. In addition, Leigh worked with students on a proposal funded by the Governor’s office of Energy which completely retrofitted Reed High School with LED overhead lighting; this will save the school over $36,000 per year.

Leigh has shared curriculum at National Green Schools and NSTA conferences as well as with teachers throughout WCSD. Through an E-fellows program with UNR, Leigh traveled to Northern Ireland one summer and to New Zealand another to learn more about renewable energy. Annually, she organizes students for KTMB clean-ups, Christmas tree recycling, painting storm drains and other community service projects. Currently, she is working with students to develop waste reduction projects to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the school and in our community in a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Plastic Pollution Solution action project.

Educational Program: Project ReCharge-Envirolution/ Raggio Research Center for STEM Education at the University of Nevada, Reno

Project ReCharge (PRC) is a hands-on inquiry and project based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum and training program that engages students, teachers and facility staff. By providing them with the knowledge, training and technology they become energy detectives focused on saving their school money through energy efficiency recommendations. In 2014, local nonprofit Envirolution and the STEM Raggio Research Center at the University of Nevada Reno received Nevada’s first National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers Grant (DRL-1433597.) Over 3 years this grant is investing $1.2 million in energy efficiency education in Northern Nevada.

Over the last 2 years, the Envirolution and UNR team have provided 48 teachers within 10 schools in Northern Nevada with over 2,300 hours of professional development, given them over $45,000 in classroom resources, allowing them to engage over 2,300 middle school and high school students. The Project ReCharge curriculum consists of five separate units that provide teachers with 8-12 weeks of hands-on, inquiry-based lessons and activities focused on energy generation, consumption and efficiency.  Each lesson follows the 5E learning model, is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Math and 21st Century Competencies, so teachers and administrators know they are using curriculum that meets the latest education requirements. Pre and Post content tests from year 2 showed an average content knowledge increase of 24%, further demonstrating its effectiveness and value to educators.

The hands-on lessons have even greater impact by integrating real-time school energy data.  Project ReCharge curriculum incorporates real-time energy monitoring technology to engage students by analyzing the school’s energy use and seasonal trends. The final unit in the curriculum is a project based efficiency proposal in which the students use their Project ReCharge knowledge and work with facility staff and energy experts to develop proposals using the energy monitoring data, to save their school energy and money.  Students from Reed HS, Wooster HS, Dilworth MS and Mendive MS have all written proposals to retrofit their school’s lighting that will save the school district close to $43,000 a year! Project ReCharge empowers students with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about energy usage and conservation in their own lives, as well as help prepare students for jobs in the growing sustainable economy.   With continued support from Washoe County School District and other key partners and funders, Project ReCharge looks forward to expanding to other schools and districts in the area.

Individual / Volunteer: Sue Jacox, Great Basin Outdoor School

Sue is a lifelong educator and a founding board member of Great Basin Outdoor School, a nonprofit which has connected thousands of local children and teachers with nature and our great Nevada outdoors.  Great Basin Outdoor School programs immerse students in science camps and field studies in spectacular natural settings on Nevada’s shoreline of Lake Tahoe and other local sites.  Her goal is to get children excited about learning through hands-on discovery in the outdoor classroom and to foster cooperation, respect, and responsibility.  Students hike, snowshoe, learn local ecology with engaging activities, and do environmental projects to protect their watersheds and to reduce fire danger.  They become more interested in science and feel empowered to make a difference for their communities and for the environment.

All of Sue’s contributions to advancing environmental literacy for children and adults are volunteer time, countless hours she is eager to share.  Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Administrator David Emme wrote, “Ms. Jacox’s long-term leadership has been critical in bringing environmental education to young people, providing a basic understanding of the water quality issues facing Lake Tahoe and northern Nevada, and teaching students how they may take simple actions to improve and protect water quality.”

Nonprofit Organization: Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys (SNJ) is a 501(c)(3) organization that uses the unique outdoor classrooms of the region to deliver robust outdoor science and collaborative problem solving education to promote long-term student achievement. They accomplish this through the Whole School Model, an outdoor education program that ensures the teachable moments inherent in outdoor education are extended both across the school year and through a student’s elementary grade progression. SNJ’s Whole School Model uses outdoor science education supported by in-school lessons and teacher professional development to maximize student inspiration and achievement across science, technology, engineering, math, reading, and collaborative problem solving.

Since their start in 2006, they have served over 75,000 students and 4,500 educators with residential outdoor science programs, field and school based programs and teacher professional development. SNJ has more than doubled the students they have served over the past 3 years; SNJ now serves 2/3rds of elementary schools in Northern NV with outdoor science programs; and SNJ will serve over 50 schools with Family Science Nights in the coming school year.

Public Figure/Servant or Agency Representative: Carol Perry, Regional Transportation Commission (RTC)

For more than a decade, Carol Perry has been an impassioned advocate educating the public on the impact transportation choices has on the environment by promoting and providing sustainable alternatives to driving alone. Through her leadership, the trip reduction program has expanded to include online trip matching services for a quick and easy search for carpool, bus, bike and walking partners.

The vanpool program has had the most dramatic growth under the trip reduction program generating the largest positive environmental impact. It’s expanded from two vanpools in 2005 to 98 this October. During RTC’s 2016 Fiscal Year, shared rides reduced more than 9.5 million vehicle miles of travel which prevented an estimated, 8.9 million lbs of carbon dioxide, 222 thousand lbs. of carbon monoxide, and 30 thousand lbs. of Volatile Organic Compounds from entering the atmosphere. The program is a self sustaining transit service and generates revenue for transit investments in the region made possible with Federal Transit Administration grant funds. As a result of Carol’s efforts, the RTC received international recognition for exemplary work in Transportation Demand Management at the Association for Commuter Transportation International Conference in Portland, Oregon in August 2016.

Small Business: Envirohaven

Vicki and Greg Bischoff are making sustainable living beautiful and affordable with their Haven designs. Their design is a radical change from standard building designs and practices that maximizes materials for efficient use and sustainable operation.

The Haven is the result of decades of design and construction experience by founders Vicki and Greg Bischoff. Since 1978, General Contractor and President of Suncrest Builders, Inc., Greg Bischoff, has been researching, designing, and building custom energy efficient homes. Throughout his career, Greg saw a need a for radical change in overall building design in order to achieve a truly sustainable lifestyle. Greg’s desire to address this need gave birth to his unique patented design: The Haven, a simple, cost-effective and energy-efficient housing system.
Many energy-saving and sustainable features are combined in one home design that is hyper-efficient, durable, adaptable, and affordable. The Haven is truly a model of sustainability enabling you to Live Large in a Small Footprint.

Medium to Large Business: One Nevada Credit Union, Reno

One Nevada Credit Union (ONCU) is a local company that is leading the way in conservation efforts in order to operate as an eco-friendly financial institution. In the past few years, they have significantly increased activities that make our community more environmentally healthy.  2016 has been a particularly productive year for ONCU in terms of adopting new practices to help conserve paper, electricity, water, fuel and recycled office supplies. In addition, they’ve created several new community partnerships with non-profit organizations with environmental missions in order to help beautify and conserve our natural communities. With $800 million in assets, One Nevada Credit Union is the largest locally owned, federally insured credit union in the state. It is one of the strongest, well-capitalized credit unions in the country with more 11.61% net worth. One Nevada has 13 branches and over 60 ATMs and serves over 77,000 members.

Youth Leadership – Cecy Cervantes, Student Assistant, USAC, Sparks, NV

Cecy Cervantes is a student at the University of Nevada, Reno who cares about the environment, loves to volunteer, and has gotten involved to make a difference.
She served as Senator for the College of Liberal Arts during the 2015-2016 school year. Sustainability was a key part of her platform, and after being elected she became a member of the Sustainability Committee which works to minimize the campus footprint and support the university’s environmental policies. She was also a student member of the Arboretum Board and helped with a tree-planting event in which 192 tree saplings and shrubs were planted to stop erosion in the intramural fields. She informed students of environmental events.

She worked with ASUN to bring back the defunct UNR Environmental Club then served as president during the Spring 2016 semester and successfully recruited new members, created connections with other clubs on campus that share similar goals, and coordinated volunteer events like park cleanups.

Innovation Award: One Truckee River Management Plan spearheaded by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) and Nevada Land Trust

One Truckee River is a collaboration of public and private partners working together to realize a Truckee River that flows clear and clean, quenches our thirst, sustains the river’s natural ecology, cultural resources and wildlife, and connects residents and visitors to unparalleled opportunities for recreation and regeneration.
One Truckee River was launched by the Nevada Land Trust and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful as a collaboration of local, regional, and state agencies; nonprofit and community organizations; and businesses brought together in support of long term stewardship of the Truckee River and its natural and cultural assets. Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the Nevada Land Trust are the One Truckee River Initiative lead administrative organizations.

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