2024 Environmental Initiative Awards in review

Each year, Environmental Initiative invites Minnesota community members to nominate a person or project creating positive change in our environment. Groups chosen by our team of volunteer judges are later recognized at the Environmental Initiative Awards. In the past…

Centering BIPOC experiences and our connection to nature

Tamara Few, recipient of the 2022 Environmental Initiative critical collaborator award, works to make safe spaces in the outdoors for BIPOC folks to heal, connect, and find joy.

Improving recycling through community-led initiatives

Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy developed a resident-led program to adopt recycling best practices in apartments within neighborhoods identified as vulnerable to climate change.

Finding new ways to support manufactured home park residents

Joel Haskard, co-director of the Clean Energy Resources Team (CERTs) spoke with us about the group's work to reduce energy use and increase safety in manufactured home parks.

Second Chance Community Solar Garden gets ready to shine

The Second Chance Community Solar Garden was recognized in May 2020 as an environmental innovator for its local energy development, solar model, and impact for low-income communities.

Catalyzing a shift in sourcing food for hunger relief organizations

Catching up with Nikki Warner from The Good Acre was a lot of fun and filled me with hope. I am inspired by creative community leaders who are able to pivot quickly when funding and needs shift while keeping true…

Talking climate action and district energy with the City of Duluth and Ever-Green Energy

Three years ago, Ever-Green Energy and the City of Duluth began transforming a major portion of the city’s energy system, replacing 16 blocks of aged steam pipe in its district energy system with new hot water infrastructure. The project, which won a 2021 Environmental Initiative Award, has achieved significant emission reductions, with a nearly…

Dreaming and being thankful with Hope Flanagan

I was so inspired by Hope Flanagan’s words and wisdom when I first met her in spring 2021. Her enthusiasm for the natural world is contagious. Add to that her passion for gardening, cooking, and storytelling and it is almost…

Better Futures: A workforce and environmental solution

The Better Futures-Becker County pilot program was recognized in May 2021 for the innovative workforce approach used when diverting useful goods and materials from the landfill. With the building renovation boom still strong, I wondered how things were going…

Announcing our 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards winners

The wait is over – it is time for the 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards! While this is the first time in the 26-year history that the Awards event will not convene in person, we remain committed to highlighting innovative, impactful…