The Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination announced the winners of the 2020 Environmental Excellence Awards Sept. 2.
Each year, the Environmental Excellence Awards recognize individual county residents, county employees, and organizations/businesses who advance or support the county’s environmental goals and policy statements, dedicate personal time and expertise beyond their normal fiscal and civic responsibilities, and demonstrate leadership as a role model for others.
This year, five awardees were named by the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC). Together, these awardees have devoted countless hours to the improvement of the natural environment in the county through public advocacy, volunteerism, the implementation of programs and sustainability strategies, and mentorship.
“The 2020 Environmental Excellence Awardees are outstanding advocates for a healthy, sound natural environment in Fairfax County,” said Stella Koch, chair of the Environmental Quality Advisory Council. “We are so fortunate to have these excellent leaders working in our community to ensure that the natural beauty and resources of our county will remain viable for generations to come.”
The 2020 Environmental Excellence Awardees are:
Individual County Resident Category
Sara Holtz. Sara is an active volunteer with several prominent environmental organizations in Fairfax County, including the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA),Fairfax ReLeaf,and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Among her contributions and accomplishments, Sara serves as the Site Leader at Difficult Run Stream Valley Park in Oakton for the FCPA Invasive Management Area Program. In connection with Fairfax ReLeaf, Sara has recruited and managed volunteers who have planted nearly 1,000 trees and shrubs and has educated hundreds of youth through the Waples Mill Elementary School STAMP (Science Technology Art Music Philanthropy) program. With the Soil and Water Conservation District she mobilized volunteers to label all of the nearly 800 storm drains in Waples Mill neighborhoods.Sara particularly enjoys promoting environmental volunteerism with youth including STAMP, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Scouts BSA; leads by doing; and is an avid volunteer, dedicating over one thousand hours each year to local causes and organizations.
Delegate Mark Keam. Delegate Keam represents Virginia’s 35th House District, located entirely within Fairfax County, in the Virginia House of Delegates. In early 2020, he was the Chief Patron of HB572 (referred to as the “Solar Freedom” bill), a critical piece of legislation that lifts the cap on renewable energy pilot projects in Dominion Energy territory. This bill, which became law July 1, will allow Fairfax County to expand its use of renewable energy by moving ahead with planned projects to install solar arrays on rooftops and parking lots of government buildings, schools, and park facilities, as well as a large solar array at the I-95 landfill site. In 2020 Delegate Keam was also the Chief Patron of HB704, the Virginia Environmental Justice Act, which will ensure that environmental justice is considered throughout Commonwealth activities.
Meghan Walker. Meghan has held numerous positions with the Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP), including president, treasurer, and communications director, and has served the community for well over a decade. In her roles, Meghan has actively participated in a number of initiatives including the creation of a new pollinator educator garden, which includes 560 plants of 14 varieties and offers classes and brochures to educate the community on the importance of pollinator plants. Additionally, Meghan has played a role in the Accotink Creek/Lake Accotink Total Daily Maximum Load Technical Advisory Council and has advocated for funding for various environmental projects and programs.
Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac is headquartered in Tysons Corner. Notable accomplishments include the development of sustainability-oriented mortgage products to incentivize the greening of buildings and the successful avoidance of more than 3,600 tons of waste since 2016 through innovative recycling efforts. Freddie Mac has reduced transportation emissions by installing 20 electric vehicle chargers, expanding their vanpool program, which has eliminated 1.9 million commuter miles, and offering shuttles to the Tysons Corner Metro to encourage use of public transit by employees and visitors.
County Employee Category
Vickie Anglin. Vickie is the county surveyor and is responsible for countywide monumentation, which provides critical data that influences how infrastructure is built. In 2019, Vickie volunteered to lead a team focusing on health and the environment as part of development of the County Strategic Plan. Vickie brought together a diverse team of individuals from different agencies to perform community outreach, research best practices, review existing materials, and develop strategies to move the county forward. She also ensured that there was a strong focus on social equity as the plan was developed, making a special effort to reach historically underrepresented parts of the community.
For more information on the Environmental Excellence Awards please visit the awards website.