Sustainable San Mateo County Award Winners
The Cargill South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project was hailed by environmentalists as the “holy grail.” Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “Cargill is clearly doing a major public good and deserves deep appreciation.” The project frees up 16,100 acres for use by local, state and federal wildlife agencies, increases Bay tidal wetlands by nearly 50 percent, and preserves 25 square miles of open space. It also improves water quality, flood control and provides crucial habitat for endangered species. At the same time Cargill’s investment in technology and productivity shrinks their industrial footprint by over 60% but preserves nearly 400 permanent, living wage jobs.
“Getting Green at Central” is a grass roots effort at Central Elementary School in Belmont that has inspired the whole school to recycle everything from aluminum to tennis shoes-and in the process saved enough money to build a new play structure. They have received worldwide recognition for their efforts, including the President’s Environmental Youth award, and they have inspired many other schools to follow their example.
Jacob’s Ranch/Del Cabo, Inc. began as organic herb farms in Pescadero. It has expanded into one of the largest organic herb farms in the country and was the inspiration for a venture into Mexico that has turned into an even bigger business. CEO Larry Jacobs and his wife Sandra Belin partnered with Mexican farmers, forming a coop of more than 200 small family farmers growing organically and selling worldwide.
Pietro Parravano, San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner, has shown leadership at the local up to the international level working for permanent systemic change in the area of sustainable ocean resource use and protection. His work has included education, mobilization of stakeholders, policy change, and coordination and leadership on sustainable practices and programs.
Surfrider Foundation San Mateo County embodies the principles of sustainability in several ways: improving and sustaining environmental quality by recognizing that the diversity and ecological integrity of the coasts are necessary to the well being of the whole earth; promoting equal, free, and open access to County beaches for all people; educating the community about water quality, pollution, coastal ecology and biodiversity; and supporting businesses that embody sustainable practices in accordance with the CERES (formerly Valdez) Principles.
Receiving honorable mention, Elkus Youth Ranch in Half Moon Bay for nearly a quarter century has been offering opportunities for students and teachers to experience environmental science, California history, animal care and agriculture programs. The ranch hosts about 9000 visitors annually-with a special welcome for urban, disabled and inner city youth.
Green Building Award Winners
The 2005 Award winner, d’Souza/de la Torre Residence in Belmont (Architects: David Arkin & Anni Tilt, Arkin-Tilt Architects; Builder: Ebcon Development, Inc.; Owners: Gladwin d’Souza & Martina de la Torre) is being honored for the holistic approach to sustainable design. The project incorporated recycled materials, sustainable site selection and uses, innovative heating and cooling systems (both passive and active) and included multi-functional use of space to reduce the overall building size.
Receiving Honorable Mention is the Hogg Residence in Half Moon Bay (Architect: John Hermannsson, Architect A.I.A.; Builder: Spectrum Development; Owners: Alec & Michelle Hogg). Commendable was the complete re-use of the existing structure and the owner’s and architect’s commitment to look at all options, carefully consider material selections, and maintain sensitivity to the community and surroundings.