FREDERICK, MD - Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater and Frederick County Sustainability Commission Chair Faith Klareich announced the 2023 Sustainability Award winners at the 11th Annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition Event at the Ballenger Creek Community Building on October 19, 2023. Selected by the Frederick County Sustainability Commission based on demonstrated leadership, innovation, and success in sustainability, awards were presented to the following:
Kite, A Gilead Company, Frederick T-Cell Factory 5 (Category: Industrial Enterprise) Kite is committed to making transformative cell therapies the right way by continually improving the environmental impact of their activities, preventing pollution, and prioritizing the conservation of resources. Created a Kite Sustainability Network and Local Sustainability Green & Energy Teams, to build a green culture and to advocate for healthy, responsible practices.
Black Ankle Vineyards (Category: Commercial Enterprise, 50 or More Employees) From building construction to production methods, Black Ankle's focus is on making wise use of their farmland's resources. Efforts include construction methods that incorporate repurposed materials, straw bales, and green roofing, installation of solar panels that generate all the operation’s electricity, and using a biodiesel tractor.
House In the Woods Farm (Category: Commercial Enterprise, 50 or Fewer Employees) A certified organic farm, the operation grows diverse crops featuring heritage breeds, drip irrigation, and field rotation methods that contribute to the resilience and sustainability of their Community Supported Agriculture program. The farm also provides opportunities for experiential environmental education programs.
Carey Murphy (Category: Individual Venture) Carey is a Master Naturalist and co-founder of Green Team Urbana, a volunteer group committed to increasing biodiversity and restoring the ecological health of heavily developed areas. Carey leads numerous efforts to foster community engagement in environmental issues and is working to develop and support green schools.
Kerri Hesley (Category: Individual Venture) Kerri serves as the lead of the Sierra Club Catoctin Group's Zero Waste Team. Her tireless efforts to educate the community on the hazards of single-use plastics contributed to the City of Frederick enacting legislation to ban businesses from providing plastic bags (effective January 1, 2024).
Mobilize Frederick (Category: Nonprofit Organization) This group seeks to advance economic vitality, equity, and human health by promoting innovative and effective local solutions to the growing climate emergency. Their efforts to partner with local government, nonprofits, and the community support the goals established in the County and the City of Frederick's Climate Emergency Resolutions.
Urbana STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Mindfulness) (Category: Student Venture) Niranjana Attoor, Aarna Chakarvarty, Rakshita Jayaswal, Mihir Kumar, Aahana Nigam, and Rhea Ramesh are a group of students who support the environment by volunteering year-round to support activities such as tree planting, used battery recycling, litter clean-ups, and community gardening. They donate the organic food grown to those in need. The group also helps promote these efforts to encourage awareness and participation of others.
Pragna Yalamanchili (Category: Student Venture) Pragna volunteers many hours to help manage the recycling and composting program at Oakdale High School and provides educational presentations for students and staff on the topic of waste reduction. Has communicated with county and state officials to expand these efforts to other schools.
Frederick County Government appreciates the efforts of these awardees and the volunteer members of the Frederick County Sustainability Commission who work to promote the importance of conserving natural resources and protecting our environment. Their efforts help our community prosper as a healthy, abundant, and inspiring place to live and work. More information about the Commission and the Sustainability Awards program, including past winners, can be found at www.frederickcountymd.gov/FCSC.
For more information on the County’s sustainability programs, including efforts to address environmental justice issues, build community resiliency, and boost citizen engagement, contact the Division of Energy and Environment’s Sustainability Program Administrator, Tiara Lester, at 301-600-1416 or via e-mail to TLester@FrederickCountyMD.gov. Supporters of sustainability are also encouraged to join the community conversation on the County’s Facebook and Instagram accounts @SustainableFCMD.