Sustainability Awards: Each Green Corner, Kalimah Salahuddin and Seamless Bay Area
Ruth Peterson Award: Robert Whitehair
Green Building Award: Marshall Medical Offices on Kaiser Permanente’s Redwood City campus
These awardees were honored at our 23rd Annual Awards Celebration on May 11. Recipients of the Second Annual All-Electric Awards, presented by Peninsula Clean Energy, were also honored that evening.
Read the press release about our winners.
Learn about Peninsula Clean Energy’s 2022 All-Electric Leader awardees.
Each Green Corner, a nonprofit powered by volunteers that teaches people of all ages to create sustainable gardens that supply produce to food-insecure community members in San Mateo County. The county reports that 30 to 40 percent of county residents are food insecure. Sandie Nierenberg founded Each Green Corner because she was convinced that a county as affluent as ours, with many resources and lots of food going into landfill, should help bring healthy food to underserved communities. Each Green Corner educates each site’s community in sustainable agricultural practices, creates school gardens that are immersive outdoor learning spaces, trains college interns in nonprofit management as well as cutting-edge agriculture practices, and provides produce and socialization to seniors who invite volunteers to start a garden in a corner of their yards.
Kalimah Salahuddin, a tireless advocate for affordable housing who serves on the boards of the Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD), Habitat for Humanity and the Housing Leadership Council. Due to strong community advocacy for affordable housing that she spearheaded, 122 new affordable homes will be available this spring to teachers in the JUHSD district, some of whom commute from other counties to work in Daly City. Living close to their jobs will reduce carbon emissions and allow teachers to spend less time commuting. The district is the lowest-funded high school district in San Mateo County, and it serves the most densely populated and racially diverse city in the county. The high cost of housing in the county has caused many teachers to quit their jobs and move away. Because of Kalimah’s work, JUHSD will be able to offer stable housing as part of teachers’ compensation packages, which will help the district recruit and retain quality teachers.
Seamless Bay Area is a nonprofit working to transform the Bay Area’s fragmented public transit systems into a unified, equitable system. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area, and high-quality public transit is essential for equity. However, traveling throughout the region via public transit is difficult because the 27 transit districts in the nine Bay Area counties have poorly coordinated fare systems and schedules and fragmented decision-making. Cofounders Adina Levin and Ian Griffith aim to make public transportation a viable option throughout the Bay Area. By organizing more than 200 diverse residents and over 80 organizations, their advocacy galvanized the adoption of a regional fare policy vision supporting integrated and affordable fares, including a pilot all-agency transit pass slated for mid-2022 and free transfers between agencies in 2023.
Ruth Peterson Award
The Ruth Peterson Award, established in memory of a dedicated SSMC leader, will be presented to longtime SSMC member and volunteer Robert Whitehair. A resident of San Mateo County for four decades, he was an active volunteer with SSMC during its early years and became more actively involved again in 2018, with a focus on resolving the climate crisis and supporting the need for affordable housing for low- and extremely low-income residents in San Mateo County. While serving as SSMC’s Vice Chair, he was one of the key writers of the 2021 Indicators Report, “Equitable Housing,” and he helped develop and research SSMC’s new Sustainability Dashboard, which measures city progress on sustainability issues. Professionally, he spent 20 years in the public sector and 25 years in the private sector managing large infrastructure projects.
Green Building Award
The new Marshall Medical Offices, located on the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City medical center campus, have been selected to receive the 2022 Green Building Award, cosponsored by Sustainable San Mateo County and the American Institute of Architects San Mateo County. The four-story, 382,300 square foot building opened in late April 2021, and offers over 30 departments in one convenient location, which reduces patient trips. Adjacent to downtown Redwood City, the building is scaled to the neighborhood, provides easy access to public transportation, and offers bicycle storage and changing rooms. Three levels of underground parking supply ample spaces including chargers for electric vehicles. Over 65 percent of the on-site, generated construction waste was diverted from the landfill, and the drought-resistant landscaping and irrigation systems yielded a 76 percent potable water use reduction. The building was designed using thermal comfort design principles, and interior furnishings are fabricated from recycled, low-emitting materials. Controlled lighting systems, natural lighting and natural ventilation promote well-being and improve air quality in public spaces. Soothing colors and art from local artists create a warm and inviting environment throughout the building. The Pediatrics Department features a large, colorful, child-friendly mural of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Owner: Kaiser Permanente. Architect: HOK Architects, San Francisco. Builder: Swinerton, Sacramento