Several community members, leaders, schools and groups received recognition at the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful awards event that occurred Thursday at Camp Lazarus.
The Recycling Award went to Ohio Wesleyan University for its “May Move Out” program. The program was started as a way to keep students’ unwanted clothing, furniture and other items from being landfilled. OWU partnered with Goodwill Industries to collect the usable items and resell them at their stores. Last May, 9.5 tons of unwanted items were recycled by OWU students.
The Environmental Educator Award went to Dempsey Middle School science teacher Paul Olen who started the Dempsey summer ecology project. During the four-week course, students learned about the wetland habitat behind Dempsey Middle. Olen continues to work with the Delaware City School District to protect this area from development and preserving it for future generations of students.
The Beautification Award went to Girl Scout Troop 2364, Girl Scout Troop 1372 and Cub Scout Pack 3094 for their work in beautifying Ashley Park. After the Delaware General Health District received grant money to install a new playground and update the pool area, a number of young scouts and community members decided to make some additional improvements. The groups planted mums and bulbs to improve the scenery around the new playground.
The Community Stewardship Award, which recognizes individuals and groups for their effort in improving the environment of their neighborhood or community, went to Camp Lazarus ranger Phil Smith. Smith has worked to improve the facility and grounds and has led the way to bring community events to the camp such as the Maple Sugar Days and Make a Difference Day. He has restored wetlands and is working hard to care for this county preserve.
The Business Award went to Domtar Personal Care. This past September, employees gave their time to improved Oak Grove Cemetery. Projects included gardening, painting and gravestone resetting.
The Litter Prevention Award went to the Wild Wabbit Waisers 4-H. Last spring during the Great American Clean Up, this group collected more than 500 pounds of trash during a cleanup on Hudson Road.
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 — went two recipients. The award is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community. The first recipient was George Bradford, a new volunteer to Keep Delaware County Beautiful, who is an avid fisherman and decided to clean up litter he observed while fishing. He has reported over two hours of cleanup and five bags of litter. The second honoree was Judy Dixon. She is a member of the Scioto Valley Federation and has organized numerous lunches for the many volunteers who help during the annual Scioto River Sweep. Dixon had a part in the DKMM Solid Waste District’s feed and silage plastic recycling.
The Going Green Award went to the city of Delaware parks and recreation and public utilities department for making significant upgrades to Blue Limestone Park this year. The upgrades included technology that will help protect Delaware Run and the Olentangy Watershed.
The Environmental Youth Leadership Award is a new award and went to two recipients. Andy Edmonds was recognized for his Eagle Scout project, which included improving the Scioto Township Park. Edmonds organized mulch donations along with soliciting volunteers. It took 20 volunteers and nine hours to spread 65 cubic yards of mulch. The hard work has made the park more beautiful and much safer place for residents. The second recipient was Grant Henry for his work on the Dempsey wetlands. For his Eagle Scout project, Henry has cleaned up trash, fixed benches and built additional ones. He also painted and improved trail markers. Henry found he had more work to do than he expected due to vandalism, which prompted him to set up a GoFundMe account to cover the costs of the vandalism.
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.
Photo attached includes the 2015 Keep Delaware County Beautiful award recipients