Residents, leaders, schools and groups were honored for their green efforts during the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards, held Dec. 5 at Berkshire Township Hall.
The Recycling Award was given to Orange Township for organizing recycling drop-off events in community.
On Earth Day, an electronics drop-off event was held at Home Depot, during which residents recycled 24,777 pounds of electronics. Orange Township also helped Home Depot set up a permanent electronics drop-off location and also held a paper shredding event in August and collected and recycled 2,500 pounds of documents.
For its role in the electronics drop-off event, the Home Depot in Lewis Center was recognized with the Business Award.
The Environmental Education Award went to Beth Hugh, maintenance and park director for Orange Township. Hugh engages youth and adults to increase their knowledge and respect for the environment. In addition, she pursues opportunities for local schools to bring youth to township parks and has coordinated several storm-drain-labeling events, and works to maintain water quality in neighborhood ponds and stormwater basins.
Berkshire Township received the Beautification Award for developing a community park. The township also partnered with United Way of Delaware County to install a Born Learning Trail, and volunteers planted a pollinator garden. Artwork has been designed and installed by Big Walnut Local School District art students.
The Community Stewardship Award, which recognizes individuals and groups for their effort in improving the environment of their neighborhood or community, went to Friction Metals, a scrap-metal recycler in Delaware. The company assisted Keep Delaware County Beautiful when a place was needed to take materials for an appliance and electronics pickup event for senior citizens. This year, 91 senior households were served.
The Litter Prevention Award recognized Ohio Wesleyan UC 160 classes for helping the Scioto River Valley Federation and Keep Delaware County Beautiful clean up the Scioto River.
This year, volunteers pulled 14 tires from the river and another 1,500 pounds of trash. Over the last several years, more than 100 tires and 1.5 tons of trash have been removed through the courses' service projects.
The Garrison-Brown Award is named after Charlotte Garrison and Janet Brown, who formed a planning committee to beautify the village of Ashley. The award is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community. This year, the award went to Chris Roshon, Gabe Van Gundy and Rick Van Gundy for volunteering their time to haul canoes for the Scioto River Sweep. The men pick up trailers of canoes for river-sweep volunteers and load and unload the canoes from the trailers. They also help get the trash in the dumpster and return the canoes.
The Going Green Award went to Mike Williams of Williams Insurance for installing 42 solar panels on the roof of his business on Pennsylvania Avenue in Delaware.
The panels were turned on the end of April.
The Environmental Youth Leadership Award recognized Caleb Warrick for his Eagle Scout project that included organizing a group of fellow Scouts to construct a chimney-swift tower at Stratford Ecological Center.
Chimney swifts are small birds that eat about one-third of their body weight in insects daily. Historically, the birds have nested in hollow trees and masonry chimneys, but such nesting sites are diminishing as the community develops. The new tower will provide a roosting site for birds in the Delaware area.
Keep Delaware County Beautiful exists to promote recycling, litter prevention and environmental-education programs in the county.