Virginia counties are eligible to apply for the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, an annual program to recognize successful and innovative efforts that improve Virginia’s environment. The program is administered by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). There are four broad categories of awards with multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze level award winners for each category along with some applicants earning Honorable Mention.
Award categories include:
Sustainability Program: DEQ considers environmental sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the environmental resource needs of future generations. This category is intended to provide recognition to organizations or facilities that can document the success of their sustainability program by providing evidence of:
- A culture of environmental sustainability;
- Recent accomplishments related to reducing their environmental footprint; and
- A commitment to future sustainability-oriented actions.
Environmental Project: This category is intended to recognize activities or processes implemented by a facility or organization within the past five years that are directed at a single goal to improve the environment beyond what is required by regulation. Examples include, but are not limited to, projects aimed at reducing waste generation, water consumption or pollutant releases, increasing water reuse, green infrastructure, or use and access to clean energy; and adapting to the impacts of a changing climate.
Land Conservation: This category is intended to recognize exemplary land conservation work within the Commonwealth. Examples include outstanding land conservation easement or fee simple acquisition projects that permanently protected lands with high conservation values to the development of an integrated prioritized land conservation plan for an organization or agency region of coverage.
Virginia Outdoors Plan Implementation: This category is intended to recognize outdoor recreation accomplishments meeting the 2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan goals and objectives. Awards will be directed in three categories: trail development, public access to waterways including water trails, and other recreational uses and scenic resource recognition.
In 2019 county winners included; Prince William County, Roanoke County and Chesterfield County. Information on previous winners can be found on the Award Winners page.
Applications are due by COB 12/5/19. The Department of Environmental Quality will be happy to assist you with your application. Questions should be directed to Meghann Quinn at 804-698-4021 or Meghann.Quinn@DEQ.Virginia.gov.
VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP