Awards of Excellence 2021
Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB) announces its Awards of Excellence for 2021, recognizing businesses, organizations and individuals whose activities have contributed significantly to our community. While these awards are normally presented in a public ceremony, during this time of COVID, such a gathering is not possible.
KSB congratulates all the Award of Excellence recipients, who will be further recognized throughout the year for their outstanding achievement.
The 2021 Award for Excellence in Sustainability was given to the Sedona Community Food Bank which distributes food to approximately 165 families each week, some of whom are homeless. The operation is run by just two part-time staff members, including the director, Cathleen Healy-Baiza, and 128 volunteers. In addition to getting food to those in need, the program reduces food waste. Several grocery stores and restaurants donate surplus food. “Ugly” fruits and vegetables are sorted. They distribute what is safe to eat and the remainder is donated to an animal sanctuary. Also, the food bank shares any extra resources with other local food pantries. The Food Bank is energy-efficient. Its refrigerators were replaced in 2015 and their used van doesn’t require refrigeration because it only makes short, local trips. They installed motion-detection lights in bathrooms and will soon add them in the hallway and kitchen. They recycle all materials that Sedona Recycles accepts. “We’re also thinking about banning plastic bags,” Healy-Baiza explains. “We can give out reusable bags and cardboard boxes. The public can donate used boxes roughly the size of wine cases too.”
McKenzie Jones and the City of Sedona received the award for Environmental Stewardship. Since becoming the Sustainability Coordinator for the City, Ms. Jones has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and to make Sedona a leader in protecting the environment. McKenzie has partnered with Sedona Recycles, Recycle by City and the Sedona Chamber to promote recycling education in the community. She also leads City efforts to develop a Climate Action Plan, identifying strategies to reduce harmful emissions and areas for environmental improvements. With extensive community input, the plan will recommend actions that most cost-effectively achieve the greatest emission reductions or improve community resiliency. Finally, Ms. Jones is assisting businesses, community members and the City of Sedona to increase the number of solar users in 2020.
The KSB award for Community Service went to Marty Glinsky, who serves as President of the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC). Besides educating and advocating for safe and responsible use of our biking trails, VVCC has raised over $50,000 for trail work on the National Forest. In addition, Marty founded and serves as chairperson of the Red Rock Mountain Bike Patrol, a division of the International Mountain Biking Association’s National Mountain Bike Patrol. The Bike Patrol is a group of residents who bike the trails in the Red Rock District, assisting both locals and visitors with trail information, bike repairs and other assistance. If this weren’t enough, Mr. Glinsky is a co-founder and Board member of Wheel Fun, a group that provides mountain biking opportunities for Verde Valley youths grades 3-12. Working with local schools, the group educates young riders on responsible riding.
Enchantment Resort received the award for Building Design and Signage for its new adventure and activity center, Trail House. The building was designed to blend into the natural environment. Natural building materials dominate the design, with the palette of pigmented concrete floors, adobe brick and red rock-inspired stucco walls, all anchoring the building in the surrounding canyon landscape. Latillas create a trellised roof, weaving the interior and exterior together. Signage is small, unobtrusive, and matches canyon colors, blending with the surrounding environment. The landscape design includes low-water plants and native plants to Arizona. During construction, native trees and plantings not preserved in place were temporarily moved, saved and re-planted around the building. Natural water catchment areas offer protection from flooding and prevent destructive erosion during hard rains. Night lighting around Trail House is low. Signs are lit with low lighting. The lack of lighting necessitates using a flashlight when walking around the building after dark.
KSB bestowed its Award of Excellence for Dark Sky Lighting to the Canyon Mesa Townhouse Association. Led by the Association’s Board of Directors, over the course of two years over 90% of the homeowners took advantage of an innovative voluntary project to replace light polluting outdoor fixtures with Dark Sky compliant sconces. To encourage homeowners, the Association ordered sconces in bulk, reducing the cost of each. Homeowners were able to pick the style and size of their choice from a range of options, and volunteers from Canyon Mesa installed the new fixtures and took care of any needed painting. Over 280 old fixtures were then recycled. The few remaining non-compliant fixtures are being replaced as townhomes are sold and new owners update their lighting. This initiative demonstrates how effective voluntary action can be in improving our Dark Skies.
The Sedona area is fortunate to have some of the most extensive and significant cultural resources in Arizona. In recognition of their efforts to document those resources, Keep Sedona Beautiful has given the Friends of the Forest Cultural Resources Site Documentation Team an Award of Excellence for Cultural Resources. For the past decade, the team has meticulously documented Native American and early settler sites, focusing on the rich Sinagua heritage in the Verde Valley. Beginning with the more well-known sites such as Honanki, Palatki and V Bar V, they then expanded their sights to include scores of locations in the Verde Valley. The team records and stores images that describe in detail everything about each site. They revisit key sites repeatedly, re-photographing everything so that archeologists can determine if the site is degrading over time. The newest project of the team is to create 3-D photographic models of cultural heritage sites. These are then available on line to archeologists and scholars who can manipulate the images to view the site from almost any angle. This work is gaining national and even international attention, with researchers from around the world contacting the team for advice on their own projects.