Several Mesa projects were recently honored at the Arizona Forward’s 37th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards Sept. 23. Two projects received an Award of Merit and a third project was presented with a prestigious Crescordia Award.
Crescordia Award Winner – The Recyclery
The Recyclery exhibition, a partnership between the i.d.e.a. Museum and the Mesa’s Environmental Management and Sustainability Department, was developed to create a fun, innovative program to help children and adults learn what is and what is not accepted in the city’s blue recycle barrels. In February 2017, the partners introduced a new, high-tech educational game, Recycle Fun, and freshened up the Recyclery with an updated look to enliven the exhibition and increase awareness of sustainability issues for museum guests.
Award of Merit Recipient – Drab to Fab Backyard Rehab Campaign
The Water – Use It Wisely’s Drab to Fab Backyard Rehab Campaign was an unprecedented media promotion and contest that rewrote the tired narrative that ‘one must sacrifice’ to be sustainable. Up to 70 percent of household water use is outdoors, and by focusing on a landscape makeover, the campaign was able to bring awareness to the beauty of a water-conscious Xeriscape design. From spring 2016 through summer 2017, the contests yielded 22,477 entries, community engagement, teachable moments, a 10-part video series and two excited winners. The Water – Use It Wisely campaign started in Mesa and now includes a total or 19 partners statewide.
Award of Merit Recipient – Alhambra Hotel
An ambitious adaptive reuse of one of Mesa’s most historic buildings, the Alhambra Hotel, took place in early 2016 between Venue Projects, Community Development Partners, Benedictine University and the city of Mesa. By February 2017, a $3.3 million renovation transformed the site from a deteriorating historic building into cutting-edge student housing for Benedictine University students. The project team restored the Alhambra with a conscious effort to preserve and enhance the historic character of the structure and to ensure it maintained its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Green elements include LED lighting, water-saving fixtures, xeriscape landscaping, and energy efficient windows and HVAC.
Arizona Forward, in partnership with SRP, presented the Environmental Excellence Awards, Arizona’s oldest and most prominent competition of its kind. It spotlights distinguished projects throughout the state of Arizona that demonstrate a high level of environmental commitment and contribute to the state’s overall sustainability. For more information about Arizona Forward, visit www.arizonaforward.org.