The City of Palm Springs recognizes adults and students (K-12) who demonstrate exemplary sustainability practices in our community through its Green Citizen Award Program. The nominees must have shown excellence in green living or have made a significant contribution to the overall sustainability of our City.
Even in these difficult times, the Office of Sustainability wanted to make sure we took a moment to recognize individuals that have gone above and beyond for the health of our planet and our community. This year, through our Green Citizen and Green Student Award program, we honor a student that has discovered a passion for the environment that extends far beyond the classroom and a group of adults that accomplished what many thought was an impossible task.
Charlotte Ireland, Desert Learning Academy
This year’s Green Student Award goes to Charlotte Ireland – a 5th Grade student at Desert Learning Academy. You may have heard about Charlotte’s work helping to create a public service announcement to “Skip the Straw and Save the Sea Turtle.” Her work brought attention to the important issue of single-use plastics in our environment. But she didn’t stop there. Charlotte has continued her work this year making presentations to middle and high school students about the dangers of single-use plastic water bottles, developing an award-winning science project to explore drinking water quality, and working with her classmates to explore how to promote proper recycling practices. Charlotte’s work on single-use plastics is truly a passion, and she takes every opportunity to educate fellow students, family members, and community members on this and other important environmental issues. Congratulations to Charlotte, and we look forward to more amazing things!
Save Oswit Canyon Team and Community Supporters and Donors
This year’s Green Citizen award goes to a group of people – the Save Oswit Canyon team and the community of donors and supporters. The Save Oswit Canyon initiative was launched by local residents concerned about the fate of a significant open space at the south end of our City that was slated for development. Oswit Canyon provides hundreds of acres of valuable habitat for endangered Big Horn Sheep, migrating birds and other wildlife, and provides an amazing vista for local hikers. This group of committed citizens banded together to draw attention to the important environmental benefits that Oswit Canyon provides; coordinated with federal, state, and local officials and non-profit organizations to identify opportunities to purchase the land for open space; and organized an incredible fundraising campaign to quickly fill the funding gap to purchase the land. We honor not just the members of the core Oswit Canyon team and volunteers but the over 1000 donors and other supporters that contributed to the cause. Congratulations to all who were involved in this important habitat preservation project!
Click on the link below to see our interview with Jane Garrison, President of Save Oswit Canyon.
Background on the Green Citizen Award
Accomplishments for citizens and students generally focus on work done outside normal business activities or coursework and can address a variety of topics such as resource conservation, habitat protection, energy efficiency and natural resource use reduction, education and advocacy, and environmental leadership. The application for 2020 can be found here.
The last award was given to Mary Brent Wehrli in 2016 for her outstanding efforts to launch and lead the Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley.