Several community members, leaders, schools and groups received recognition at the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards that occurred on Dec. 6 at Berlin Township Hall.
The Recycling Award recognized Berkshire, Berlin, Concord and Delaware Townships. The Trustees in these communities entered into waste contracts that made curbside recycling an option for single-family homes. In Delaware County, an estimated 87-percent of our residents now live in a community with curbside recycling, thanks in part to these four townships’ effort.
The Environmental Educator Award went to Brad Ross, former communications specialist for the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ross was recognized for his weekly columns in the Delaware Gazette. For the past two years, Brad not only wrote about soils, cover crops and water conservation, but about trees, composting, wildlife, pollinators and so much more. Ross retired in October from the soil and water conservation district.
The Beautification Award went to the City of Delaware for their Downtown Facade Program, in which the city works with downtown businesses to improve the appearance and maintain the historic character of the buildings. The store fronts are 90-percent occupied with people coming from all over to visit, shop and eat in this clean and beautiful community.
The Community Stewardship Award, which recognizes individuals and groups for their effort in improving the environment of their neighborhood or community, went to the Big Walnut Nature Club. This club cleans up litter twice a year in the Hoover preserve. Club members have also worked to maintain and make repairs to osprey platforms and provide environmental workshops for community members.
The Litter Prevention Award recognized Bill Boyd, who has led Boy Scout Troop 701 for the last nine years in their adoption of recycling drop-off locations in Sunbury and Genoa Township. Boyd has worked with Keep Delaware County Beautiful and the DKMM Solid Waste District as the site changed. He has reported illegal dumping, icy conditions, potholes, bins in need of repairs and relabeling. He has also organized his troop to clean up blown litter after high winds and holiday overflows.
The Garrison-Brown Award, named after Charlotte Garrison and Janet Brown who by their own initiative formed a planning committee to beautify the village of Ashley. This award is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community. This year, the award went to David Carpenter, who organized a solar cooperative in the community. He volunteers his time to promote the program and host informational meetings. About 108 people with potential roofs have signed up with about 30 under contract. KDCB recognized Carpenter for his leadership is conserving natural resources, creating energy and preventing pollution.
The Going Green Award went to Liberty Township’s Park Department, which found that “going green” can also save money. This past summer, Liberty Township built a 1,860-foot gravel trail connecting Liberty Middle School to the YMCA and a gravel loop behind the YMCA. The township used reclaimed asphalt from the Sawmill Road project as a base layer. KDCB recognized the township for taking a waste materials and putting them toward beneficial use while saving money.
The Environmental Youth Leadership Award recognized Eagle Scout Nick Spangenberg for his raised bed project. Spangenberg organized Boy Scout Troop 701 to build raised beds for the community garden at the Community Library in Sunbury. After he led the troops in building the beds, they filled them with soil and mulched the edges to add to their beautification
Led by the Delaware General Health District, the Keep Delaware County Beautiful coalition provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to the residents and businesses of Delaware County.
Information for this story was provided by the Delaware General Health District.