Mayor Lorraine Morton and Interim City Manager Rolanda Russell accepted the 2008 Irwin A. Bock Award for Excellence in Public Administration-Community Environmental Stewardship Award for the City of Evanston at the Northwest Municipal Conference’s (NWMC) annual banquet last month. The Environmental Best Practices Committee recognized the accomplishments of the City of Evanston and the Village of Lincolnshire as this year’s winners from a pool of 11 applicants.

Evanston was chosen for its community commitment to environmental stewardship as demonstrated in its outreach and education, support of local food, its continuing status as a Tree City USA and several of its sustainability measures. The City included a sustainability goal in the strategic plan, calling for Evanston to be known as “The Green City” and embrace the best ecological practices and policies in government, services and infrastructure.

This year, the City, in partnership with Evanston’s Transportation Future and numerous community members, set out to create Evanston’s Climate Action Plan, which City Council will consider in the coming months.

“The City is making significant strides towards integrating environmental sustainability into its policies, practices and operations,” said Carolyn Collopy, sustainable programs coordinator for the City.

The City’s environmental education and outreach, such as the role of the Ecology Center in the community and the City’s informational outreach – online and print sources such as the E-News, the quarterly “Highlights” newsletter and new-resident packages – were additional factors in the selection of Evanston.

The NWMC Environmental Best Practices Committee acknowledged Evanston’s support of local food with its farmers’ markets, community garden program and the Talking Farm, an effort to grow food locally.

Additionally, the committee noted Evanston’s recognition as a Tree City USA for the 24th time, receipt of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award, investments in green buildings, practices of applying minimal to no pesticides or insecticides in municipal parks and on City owned properties, efforts to increase the amount of recycling programs, upgrade in Tallmadge and traffic lights to more energy efficient lamps, leaf blower regulations, No Mower Pollution events, and use of biodiesel in its fleet.