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Earth Day volunteers honored April 21

Don Larson, left, and Jim Trainer accepted the award for Kitsap Trees which was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Conservation Leadership at the recent Annual Earth Day Awards presented by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. Mike Shepherd and Daren Nygren, both of whom are on the board of directors for Kitsap Trees, are not pictured. Since Kitsap Trees’ start in May 2002, they have planted 15,000 trees in Kitsap County. Partners with Kitsap Trees include WSU Master Gardeners, Washington Nursery & Landscape Association, National Tree Trust and Puget Sound Energy. - Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Public Works
Don Larson, left, and Jim Trainer accepted the award for Kitsap Trees which was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Conservation Leadership at the recent Annual Earth Day Awards presented by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. Mike Shepherd and Daren Nygren, both of whom are on the board of directors for Kitsap Trees, are not pictured. Since Kitsap Trees’ start in May 2002, they have planted 15,000 trees in Kitsap County. Partners with Kitsap Trees include WSU Master Gardeners, Washington Nursery & Landscape Association, National Tree Trust and Puget Sound Energy.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Public Works

It was standing room only in the Kitsap County commissioners’ meeting chambers Monday morning, as copious awards and recognitions were bestowed on volunteers, service groups and other citizens.

Vicki Bushnell of Kitsap County Public Works was on hand to present nine Earth Day Awards to individual volunteers, businesses and other groups who developed innovative ways to recycle, reuse and treat the environment carefully.

The ceremony marked the 10th year Kitsap residents and businesses have been recognized in such a public manner. Each award recipient received a metal plaque — made from recycled steel — that featured the Earth, with the phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally,” scrolled across it.

The award recipients are from all over Kitsap County. They include:

l Ken Morrison of Morrison Gravel in Port Orchard. He won the Outstanding Achievement in Waste Reduction and Recycling award. Morrison collects glass from Kitsap’s recycling program which, in turn, he crushes to meet state standards. It is used as gravel backfill for walls, pipe bedding, sand drains, sand drainage blankets and gravel bedding material for flexible pipe. Kitsap County Public Works and the City of Port Orchard use the material.

l The Eagle Harbor Book Company of Bainbridge Island was bestowed with the Outstanding Achievement in Business Recycling award. The business boasts a 90 percent recycling rate, thanks to a concerted effort to revamp its waste management policies.

l The Outstanding Achievement in Environmentally Friendly Construction award was given to David Smith and Barry Keenan of the Central Highlands construction company. According to Bushnell, all 15 homes in their Weaver Creek development on Bainbridge Island are enrolled in the Build a Better Kitsap program. That means each house uses resource-efficient and energy-efficient materials.

l The Dentist Office of MacFarlane, Bell and Thompson of Bainbridge Island received the Best Hazardous Waste Program award. The office installed an amalgam wastewater separator unit, which helps prevent mercury from old fillings to enter the wastewater system.

l The Central Kitsap School District and the Central Kitsap Kiwanis received the Oustanding Achievement in Water Resource Protection award. For the past several years, the Kiwanis have teamed up with the schools to show students how to raise salmon in the classroom and release them in local streams.

l The Kitsap Trees organization received the Oustanding Achievement in Conservation Leadership award. The fledgling organization partners with local groups to plant trees all over Kitsap County.

l Teens in the Alternative to Detention program in Kitsap County received the Outstanding Achievement in Youth Leadership award. Participants spent 451 hours salvaging native plants, potting them and replanting them along salmon stream buffers.

l Patrick Mus of Bremerton received the Oustanding Achievement in Volunteerism award for his work as a volunteer with the Kitsap Stream Team, with the Poulsbo Marine Science Center and as a member of the Chums of Barker Creek. He plays a major role in spawner surveys, re-vegetation projects and documenting and recording changes that take place streams.

l Chief Gary Simpson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office received the Kitsap Waste Wi$e award this year. He is touted for sharing information on waste reduction with employees. The award goes to a county employee or department that shows exemplary leadership in waste reduction.

But that’s not all.

The County Commissioners hosted three other recognition ceremonies, first, by proclaiming the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in Kitsap County — the first such recognition ever.

“This is a very momentous and historical occasion,” said Lennie Meder of the Ethnic Unity Coalition.

The county commissioners also declared the week of April 27 through May 3 as Volunteer Recognition Week in Kitsap County — no small matter.

According to Jan Koske, the volunteer coordinator for the county, exactly 2,842 volunteers donated their time and expertise in several different county arenas in 2002. That equated to 226,966 hours of service, an amount valued at $3.7 million, based on calculations derived from the independent sector.

And, finally, the county commissioners proclaimed May 2-3 as “Lions White Cane Days” in Kitsap County. White Cane Days is an annual fundraiser for the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight and Hearing, according to county documents. And it also serves as a way to promote awareness about the Lions Foundation and its services.

Donations raised during the annual event help fund a variety of important programs including Northwest Lions Eye Bank, the Lions Health Screening Unit and other special patient care grant programs.

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