Past Environmental Initiative Award Winners

The Environmental Initiative Awards is an opportunity for our organization to honor the people and projects working in partnership at the nexus of a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society. As with all our work, we approach the Environmental Initiative Awards nomination process through relationship to curate an exceptional, diverse nominee pool—which means we ask our network to nominate impactful efforts. Panels of judges and Environmental Initiative staff select winners, who are honored at an evening of celebration and networking across sectors each spring.

Our past winners are honored on this page.

2019

Courageous Innovator

Dania Marin-Gavilan

Critical Collaborator

J. Drake Hamilton

Energy and Climate

CU Green Clean Energy Lending Platform

Environmental Innovation

Three Rivers Climate Conversations

Rural Vitality

Poplar River Management Board

Sustainable Leadership: Large Employer

MSU–Mankato Energy Savings & Sustainability

Sustainable Leadership: Small Employer

Rural Grocery Stores: Energy and Access

2018

Courageous Innovator

Deedee Fuller & Adam Pruitt

Critical Collaborator

Ellen Anderson

Energy and Climate

Community Solar for Community Action (CS4CA)

Environmental Innovation

The Dave Larsen American Indian Immersion Experience

Rural Vitality

The Root River Field to Stream Partnership (RRFSP)

Sustainable Leadership: Large Employer

Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN

Sustainable Leadership: Small Employer

Liberty Apartments & Townhomes

2017

Community Action

Governmental Solar Garden Subscriber Collaborative

Critical Collaborator

Ron Nargang

Emerging Leader

Eliza Clark

Energy and Climate

City of Hutchinson Landfill Solar PV

Natural Resources

Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant

Sustainable Business

Promoting Deconstruction and Reuse

2016

Community Action

Sun Ray Nature-Smart Library/Children and Nature Network

Energy and Climate

The Rose

Environmental Education

Race to Reduce

Food Stewardship

Feast! Local Foods Network

Natural Resources

Coffee Creek Daylighting and Restoration

Partnership of the Year: Sustainable Business

Recycling Agricultural/Marine Plastics

Sustainable Business

MAC’s Sustainable STAR Solar and PV LED Lighting

2015

Community Action

Morris Engaged: Planning & Action for Climate Resilience

Energy and Climate

Project Standing Sun

Environmental Education

Master Water Stewards

Food Stewardship

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program

Natural Resources

Manston Slough Restoration

Sustainable Business

Tiny Diner

2014

Community Action

Project Sweetie Pie

Energy and Climate

Twin Cities Habitat Northside Net Zero Energy Home

Environmental Education

State of the River Report

Food Stewardship

Fruits of the City

Natural Resources

Clearwater River Watershed Targeted Fertilizer Application

Sustainable Business

The Saint Paul Hotel Organics Recycling Project

2013

Energy and Climate Protection

Energy Innovation Corridor

Environmental Education

YES! Expansion into West-Central Minnesota

Natural Resources

Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative

Partnership of the Year: Natural Resources

Weber Stream Restoration

Sustainable Communities

Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative

2012

Business and Environment

Mattress Recycling

Energy and Climate Protection

Edina Emerald Energy Project

Environmental Education

Minnesota’s Changing Climate

Natural Resources

A Grassroots Effort to Bring Back Fulda Lakes

Partnership of the Year: Sustainable Communities

GreenStep Cities

2011

Energy and Climate

Milan Sustainable Energy

Environmental Education

Powderhorn Raingardens

Green Business and Environmental Management

Target Field

Natural Resources

Go Blue—Diamond Lake

Partnership of the Year: Green Business and Environmental Management

Mustard Seed, Love INC

Sustainable Communities

Beacon Bluff Redevelopment

2010

Energy and Climate Protection

Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon

Environmental Education

Youth Energy Summit (YES!)

Green Building, Development and Land Use

Minnesota Green Communities Initiative

Green Business and Environmental Management

Cannery Heat Recovery Project

Natural Resources

Arlington-Pascal Stormwater Improvements

Partnership of the Year: Green Business and Environmental Management

Cannery Heat Recovery Project

2009

Energy Climate

Minneapolis Climate Change Micro Grants Initiative

Environmental Education

Meet Me in the Garden

Green Building and Development

Building Operator Certification

Green Business and Environmental Management

National Wind: Developing Utility Scale

Natural Resources

Burnsville Surface Water Treatment Plant Project

2008

Energy and Climate

Transportation Choices

Environmental Education

Living Green Expo

Green Building and Development

Fairview Office Park

Green Business and Environmental Management

Fibrominn Biomass Power Plant

Natural Resources

Minnesota Forest Legacy Partnership

Partnership of the Year: Environmental Education

Using Natural Resources Information in Local Planning

2007

Air Quality and Climate Protection

Waldsee BioHaus

Environmental Education

EcoExperience

Green Building and Development

Lino Lake I-35E Corridor AUAR

Green Business and Environmental Management

Andersen’s Bayport Steam Generation Facility

Natural Resources

Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area

Partnership of the Year: Environmental Education

Big River Journey

2006

Education

Watershed Assistance Through Education and Resources

Energy

HOURCAR

Land Use

Third Crop Initiative

Partnership of the Year: Energy

Clean Energy Resource Teams

Private Sector Innovation

Best Buy Consumer Electronics Recycling

Public Sector Innovation

Intercommunity Groundwater Protection

2005

Energy

St. Paul Cogeneration

Environmental Education

Minnesota: A History of the Land

Partnership of the Year: Land Use

The Phalen Corridor

Private Sector Innovation

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy–Flint Hills Resources Partnership: Emission Reductions and Reporting

Public Sector Innovation

Burnsville Rainwater Garden Retrofit Project

2004

Energy

Science House

Environmental Education

Community POWER

Land Use

Dakota County Farmland & Natural Area Protection

Private Sector Environmental Management

Decentralized Wastewater Management

Public Sector Environmental Management

Hennepin County Environmental Response Fund Grant Program

2003

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

General Mills Mechanical Treatment of Cooling Water Tower

Environmental Education

Eco Education’s Model Schools in Urban Environmental Education

Environmental Management Excellence, Private Sector

Restore Refill Station

Environmental Management Excellence, Public Sector

Pelican River Watershed District

Land Use

Glacial Ridge Conservancy Project

2002

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Haubenschild Dairy Anaerobic Digester

Environmental Education

Hennepin County River Watch

Environmental Management

Medtronic Environmental Evaluation in Product Design

Environmental Policy

Red River Flood Damage Reduction Initiative

Land Use

Jackson Meadow

1999

Energy Efficiency and Renewal Energy

Moorehead Public Service

Environmental Education

Watershed Partners

Environmental Management

Hutchinson Technology Inc.

Innovative Environmental Policy

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District

Land Use and Community Development

Phalen Chain of Lakes/Phalen Village Initiative

1998

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Pine Bend Resource Recovery Facility

Environmental Management

Minnesota Great Printers Project

Innovative Environmental Policy

Environmental Audit Program

Land Use and Community Development

Fields of St. Croix

1997

Business Category

Rahr Malting Company

Community Category

The Green Institute

Ecopreneur Category

Evergreen Energyscapes

Government Category

Blue Earth County Environmental Services

1996

Business Category

General Litho Services Inc.

Community Category

Heron Lake Watershed Restoration Association

Ecopreneur Category

DYTEK Environmental

Government Category

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Lake Superior Basin Hazardous Waste Initiative

1995

Citizen Group Category

Good Neighbor Project

Ecopreneur Category

Cities Management Inc.’s Green Earth Initiative

Government Category

St. Paul Energy Conservation Project

Industry Category

Target Stores: Softlines Team

1994

Business Category

Minnesota Healthcare Partner

Government Category

Office of Waste Management for Source Reduction NOW

Community Category

Urban Environmental Education Coalition

Ecopreneur Category

U.S. Filter Recovery Services