Ask Eartha: Are environmental managers recognized?



Dear Asa

We are aware that many businesses and local residents are working hard to make our county more environmentally friendly. Will their actions be recognized?

I’m so happy to hear that you’re aware of the environmental work being done in Summit County. We are fortunate to live in a place where businesses and individuals work hard every day to make our communities better. Every year, The High Country Conservation Center presents the Green Scene Award, which recognizes outstanding businesses and individuals who are committed to making Summit County more sustainable.

Tim McClure Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim McClure Lifetime Achievement Award Tim McClure, Highland Conservation Center; This award recognizes community leaders who have demonstrated consistent dedication and passion towards building a more sustainable Summit County.

When staff at the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments heard about this award, they knew exactly who to nominate – Energy Program Director Doug Jones. Doug is no stranger to serving the community. In fact, Doug has been helping low-income Coloradans make their homes more energy efficient for the past 25 years.

During that time, Doug expanded the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments’ energy programs to make them more accessible to Western Slope residents. Doug’s vision for a more comprehensive program has enabled his team to help hundreds of Coloradans reduce their energy usage and utility bills. Doug is happy to be able to improve the lives of residents while helping fight climate change. And in addition to all that Doug has accomplished, he continues to inspire and mentor his staff and continues to set the standard for electrification programs across Colorado.

Outstanding Community Advocate Award

The Outstanding Community Advocate Award is presented to a community member who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in their community. Nico Cruz fits the bill perfectly. You may know Nico from his involvement in community organizations throughout the county, including the Family Cross-Cultural Resource Center and the High Her Country Conservation Center.

Currently working as a sustainable materials specialist for the Town of Frisco, Nico is instrumental in helping Summit County make environmental programs equitable and available to all, especially Latino and low-income residents. It serves as a promoter. Needless to say, Nico inspires his friends and family by consistently setting an example of a more sustainable life. Whether it’s volunteering, taking home energy audits, biking to work, or sharing his knowledge with those around him, Nico always finds ways, big or small, to make Summit County better. I am.

Sustainable Business Champion Award

Copper Mountain has won the Sustainable Business Champion Award, which recognizes local businesses with innovative environmental programs. Copper is known for its world-class ski slopes, but their team works hard behind the scenes to ensure future generations have the same great winter recreational opportunities. For Copper, that means taking big action to address climate change.

Copper is setting the standard for sustainability in the ski industry with initiatives such as a recycling program that has diverted more than three tons of waste from landfills to date. But Copper didn’t stop there. In 2021, they began carbon sequestration research to learn how to restore native biodiversity to slopes while simultaneously extracting carbon from the atmosphere.

Through all of our different projects, Copper continues to push us to think outside the box to make the ski industry more sustainable and address the ever-present threat of climate change.

The Green Scene Award is just one way we honor sustainability champions in our community. As individuals, we can recognize people and companies who are going above and beyond. Consider supporting companies that are doing their best to eliminate single-use plastics and compost waste, and celebrate when you see people championing environmental projects. These small acts of recognition go a long way in motivating continued action. Remember: All Greenscene Award winners start somewhere, and we too can strive to be sustainability champions in our communities.

“Ask Eartha Steward” is High Country Conservation Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Send questions to Eartha at

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