Encinitas seeks nominations for its 2020 Environmental Award Program


The City of Encinitas Environmental Commission recently announced the opening of nominations for its Environmental Award Program (EAP), now in its sixth year. The EAP seeks to recognize deserving individuals, businesses, and non-profits for their commitment to environmental stewardship and outstanding environmental achievements in the city.

Two Excellence in Environmental Stewardship awards have been historically granted to a for-profit business and a non-profit business each year since the program’s founding in 2014 by Environmental Commissioners Jim Wang and Joy Lyndes. In 2019, under the leadership of Environmental Commissioners Christian Adams and Inge Bisconer, a new Environmental Hero category was added to recognize both an adult and a youth who are not necessarily affiliated with a business.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2020 award program is Saturday, Oct. 31 by 12 midnight.

The winners of the 2019 program were again presented beautiful awards made of recycled glass. The Environmental Hero Awards were presented at the Surfing Madonna Beach Run on Oct. 26, 2019 by Deputy Mayor Jody Hubbard, and the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship awards were presented by Mayor Catherine Blakespear at the Aug. 12, 2020 City Council Meeting.

The winner of the 2019 Environmental Hero Award, Youth (under 18) category was Elizabeth Hazard, an Encinitas native and 11th-grade honors student at San Dieguito Academy who is making headlines in her work for a more natural world. Working with the Nature Collective and in school, she is a recognized leader in native plant conservation and gardening. She created her school’s California Native Plant Club which has secured back-to-back First Place Awards in the San Diego County Fair Ecke Jr. Garden Shows.

The winner of the 2019 Environmental Hero Award, Adult category was Nita Gilson, founder of CropSwap and ProduceGood, located at The Hive at the Leichtag Commons. The organization’s volunteers gather unwanted fruit and vegetables from farms and backyards and connects this otherwise wasted food with the needy. Since its inception, ProduceGood has recovered over 165 tons of produce, providing over one million meals for the hungry.

The 2019 winner of the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship, Non-profit Business Award category was the Encinitas Ranch Community Association for its work to create one of the county’s largest recycled water projects (13.7 million gallons of water per year), for upgrading their irrigation system to state of the art automation and sensor technology, and for working with their landscape contractor to convert to battery powered landscape maintenance equipment. Richard P Stern, president, Encinitas Ranch Community Association, accepted the award.

The 2019 winner of the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship For-profit Business Award category is the Inn at Moonlight Beach, the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious WELL Certification at the Platinum (highest) level. The Inn filters the air and water to its highest levels, the materials are reused and sustainable, a biodynamic urban farm generates its own compost and provides guests local foods, and the site has been remediated and the soil amended to prevent stormwater runoff and soil erosion. Shangwen Kennedy, the owner of the Inn at Moonlight Beach, accepted the award.

Encinitas’ Environmental Award Program is the first award of its kind in San Diego County and is one of few in the United States. For more information about the history and past winners of the award program go to:

Nominate a person or a business at: —City news release