Presenting the Inaugural Sustainable Eden Prairie Awards

Sustainable Eden PrairieSustainability can be defined broadly as development that meets current needs without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. As a city, this requires considering the social, economic and environmental impacts of what we do, and implementing sustainable practices to protect the environment and natural resources our community enjoys. We want future Eden Prairie residents to enjoy them as well!

Earlier this year, the City launched Sustainable Eden Prairie, an ongoing initiative to lead by example and provide a foundation for residents and businesses to use sustainable practices in four areas – energy, landscape, waste and water. To recognize businesses and residents who make significant and innovative investments that contribute to our community’s vitality and sustainability in these areas, the City presented its first-ever Sustainable Eden Prairie Awards at this week’s City Council meeting.

Click here to watch the award presentation.

I’d like to thank and congratulate our 2017 Sustainable Eden Prairie Award winners: Eden Prairie Schools, Joanne Bartel, Flying Dutchman Spirits, EPS Early Childhood Education and the Pioneer Trails Homeowners Association.

Sustainable Eden Prairie Award - Eden Prairie Schools

EPS Executive Director of Business Services Jason Mutzenberger and Superintendent Josh Swanson; Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens; Conservation Commission Member Dan Katzenberger

Eden Prairie Schools (EPS) accepted the honor in the energy category. EPS has made significant investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in every building. Its investments increase energy efficiency, support renewable energy and reduce its carbon footprint. EPS Superintendent Josh Swanson thinks EPS has a responsibility.

As a school district we are stewards of taxpayer resources and feel it is our responsibility to ensure we are always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and contribute toward the sustainability of our community.”

“The Sustainable Eden Prairie initiative leads the way for our community to protect the environment and natural resources in areas of energy, landscape, waste and water. It is an honor to receive the award and be publicly recognized by those we serve.”

Sustainable Eden Prairie Award - Joanne Bartel

Eden Prairie resident Joanne Bartel, Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Conservation Commission Member Nate Pischke

Joanne Bartel accepted the honor in the landscape category. Joanne landscaped her yard with native plants, bioswales and rain gardens to reduce and retain water runoff. She has installed more than 25 native plant species that provide valuable habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Bartel would like to see other residents and businesses choose a similar path.

“I’m hopeful that sustainable concepts will become more mainstream in our community and beyond. On a larger scale, sustainable practices should assist in the preservation of our natural resources for future generations. I’m grateful to live in a city that places sustainable practices as a priority.”

Sustainable Eden Prairie Award - Flying Dutchman Spirits

Flying Dutchman Spirits owners Brandon Thornton, Jim Kaldenberg and Scott Kaldenberg; Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens; Conservation Commission Member Michael Bennett

Flying Dutchman Spirits, an Eden Prairie business that creates craft spirits, tied with EPS Early Childhood Education for honors in the waste category. This small business made sustainability investments to ensure it considers environmental impacts throughout the distilling process.

When asked about why they made these investments, Flying Dutchman owners Scott Kaldenberg, Jim Kaldenberg and Brandon Thornton responded that they need to set an example for other members of the community and hope this award encourages others to implement similar improvements.

“Simply put, it’s the responsible thing to do. It’s good for us – convenient waste disposal, less water use, less energy use – good for our farmer who gets free feed and good for the environment.”

“Well-designed sustainable initiatives can save businesses money in the long term. Sustainable programs can be initially capital intensive but as a community business, we need to set an example for other members of our community to follow.”

Sustainable Eden Prairie Award - EPS Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood parent educator Kathy Matthews, Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Conservation Commission Member Michael Bennett

EPS Early Childhood Education shared the honor in the waste category for participating in the TerraCycle recycling program, which provides an alternative waste stream for the large quantity of disposable food pouches that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage. Through the program, EPS Community Education and Early Childhood programs began collecting snack pouches. They also encouraged parents to collect pouches at home and bring them to drop-off sites to be recycled. Early Childhood Parent Educator Kathy Matthews accepted the award, and the need to take action.

Sustainability is not just a priority, it is a necessity. Even the smallest action toward sustainability is valued and it encourages more and more action.”

Sustainable Eden Prairie Award - Pioneer Trails Homeowners Association

Pioneer Trails HOA President Bud DePietto and Treasurer Bill Brand; Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens; Conservation Commission Member Amanda Anderson

Pioneer Trails Homeowners Association (Pioneer Trails HOA) was honored in the water category for efforts made toward reaching a long-term goal of reducing irrigation water usage by 1-million gallons by 2018. Phase 1 in 2015 included replacing old controllers with new WaterSensecertified controllers, which resulted in a reduction of water usage by 679,000 gallons when compared to historic average usage. Phase 2 in 2017 included replacing 315 sprinkler heads with new WaterMark-certified heads and reconfiguring placement of sprinkler heads for maximum efficiency. Pioneer Trails HOA Treasurer Bill Brand highlighted these improvements as a great accomplishment because they’re not only saving a valuable resource but doing it cost-effectively.

We are honored to receive an award and hope this visibility will generate a renewed interest from all organizations with sprinkler systems to reduce the amount of water used and update systems to save dollars for their homeowners and businesses.”

It’s dedication like this to sustainability that will ensure generations of Eden Prairie residents, present and future, will have the resources they need and enjoy.