2023 Sustainability Awards honors four CO leaders for their contributions to the environment, equity and economy



BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — On Thursday, the Environmental Center presented its 8th Annual Sustainability Awards, recognizing those who are leading the way to a sustainable future in Central Oregon.

Individuals, businesses, organizations, and other community-driven projects and programs in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties were eligible to nominate or apply.

This year, the Environmental Center received a total of 14 nominations for review. The review committee, comprised of a six-person team, scored applications based on candidates’ strengths and contributions regarding environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality. Candidates were also graded on their overall leadership in the Central Oregon region.

Winners received beautiful handcrafted prizes made by local woodworkers Kenny Adams and Jake Roberts.

This year’s four award winners are:

  • Sakari Farm (Alaska Shriners in Spring)
  • noel bell copley
  • STEELE Associates Architects (Scott Steel)
  • Rooted Homes

More information about the 2023 winners:

BUSINESS Category: Sakari Farms (Spring Alaska Shriners)

Spring Alaska Schreiner (Upingaksraq) is an Iñupiaq farmer/sakari farm operator in Tumalo, Oregon. The farm specializes in Native American foods, education, technical assistance, and tribal foods. The farm is a 100% Native regenerative farm focused on implementing healthy food, land, and cultural practices for the community.

Personal Category: Noel Bell Copley

Noel Bell Copley manages sustainability efforts at Central Oregon Community College. She believes in community and that sustainability is a lifestyle and business model that can balance the environment, economy, and equity. Her goal is to make sustainable living options available to everyone for the greater good of our community.

Nonprofit Category: RootedHomes

RootedHomes provides environmentally sustainable and permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for people who contribute to the fabric of Central Oregon’s economy and community. RootedHomes envisions sustainable and equitable communities where everyone can afford to live where they work and play. RootedHomes sustainable communities are the gold standard for resident-led, affordable housing communities that promote equity for future generations.

Lasting Impact Award in Sustainability: STEELE Associates Architects (Scott Steele)

For 30 years, STEELE Associates Architects has championed sustainable public and private leadership and design throughout Central Oregon and beyond, making energy more sustainable, healthy, equitable and affordable for Oregonians. We have created a highly efficient environment and economy. Scott Steele gained early leadership as an energy and environmental design professional, becoming a certified climate change presenter in 2007, and setting an example as the architect of the original Steele Associates headquarters, his first LEED Gold certified building in Bend. has been shown. STEELE Associates is unwavering in its commitment to sustainable leadership and design, currently working on Path to Net Zero, LEED Platinum, Green Globes, and Oregon SEED projects.

For more information about the event, visit www.envirocenter.org/sustainabilityawards. The 2023 awards are sponsored by Republic Services.

About the environmental center

The Environmental Center’s mission is to incorporate sustainability into everyday life in Central Oregon. We translate sustainability into practical community action to build a healthy future for people and the planet. We focus on building communities, educating children, the energy revolution, redefining waste, and advocating for policy change. For more information, please visit www.envirocenter.org.

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