Since 2004, Green Newton has been awarding the Annual Green Newton Environmental Awards to individuals, community groups, and local businesses in recognition of their work in striving for a better environment.  We thank each recipient for their dogged commitment to making Newton (and beyond) one of most sustainable communities in Massachusetts. Here are the awards given at the 2019 Green Newton’s Environmental Leadership Awards Program on May 21:

Award to a City Department: Building Department & Design Review Committee

Since the design and construction of NewtonNorth High School, the DesignReview Committee (DRC) and the Public Buildings Department have worked in an exemplary fashion to balance the demands of program and budget with the need to cut energy use and reduce carbon emissions in our buildings. During the development of Newton North High School, these two groups deployed high-performance building systems such as continuous air, vapor, and thermal barriers; commissioning during and after construction; daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors. Since then, under the leadership of Newton Public Buildings Commissioner Josh Morse and Design Review Committee Chair Arthur Cohen, and recently DRC co-chairs Peter Barrer and Ellen Light, and with help from excellent staff and capable volunteers, they have worked tirelessly to improve the energy performance, comfort, and health of our built environments.

Award to a Local Organization: The Newton Citizens Commission on Energy

The Newton Citizens Commission on Energy developed the 130-page Citizens Climate Action Plan. The Plan is a roadmap for Newton to do its part to limitglobal warming to less than 1.5° C. The Commission’s analysis concluded that it is indeed possible for Newton to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, which is deemed necessary by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Commission researched the sources of GHG emissions in the residential, commercial and transportation sectors; identified the leverage points in each sector; analyzed promising technologies; and assessed policy approaches for achieving its goals. The Plan will serve to educate, empower and mobilize Newton leaders, residents, businesses, institutions and local activists. It shows that addressing climate change is achievable through well-informed policies, coordinated action, strong leadership, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Peter Barrer, Design Review Chair

Award to an Individual: Andy Gluck

Andy Gluck, Special Ed Aide and Green Team Captain at the Underwood Elementary School, educates students about recycling and composting, while establishingeasy routines for them to follow. He makes it fun and inspires them to help their families to improve recycling at home. As an active member of Green Newton’s Schools Connections group, he drafted a persuasive letter for improved sustainability policies and guidelines within our schools. This effort led to the approval of a new recycling policy and other positive steps that were recently taken by the Newton School Committee. Andy is also a stand-out leader in his religious congregation, where he encourages congregants to choose 100% renewable electricity in Newton Power Choice… and always to “THINK and ACT GREEN”! Before heading home on his bike after church services, he even stops to check the nearby dumpster to make sure the trash has been properly sorted before pick-up!

Award of Appreciation: Ira Krepchin

Ira Krepchin has consistently supported Green Newton’s work for more than 28 years. During that time, he served as an active board member and clerk of the organization, actively engaging in board and committee meetings, programs and events.  As editor of the GN bi-monthly Green News newsletter for over 27 years, he has worked on an estimated 160 newsletters, and GN continues to rely on his skillful editing capability for each edition today. Ira also has represented GN on the Newton Citizens Commission on Energy for many years. Green Newton greatly appreciates how Ira has thoughtfully helped with special projects, while often providing wise input on GN’s group policy decisions. He has done so much to assist us in achieving environmental progress in our local community. It is therefore with immense gratitude that we presented this award to Ira for being such a devoted, longtime and highly regarded supporter of the work of Green Newton.

Click HERE for previous award recipients.

GN President Marcia Cooper commends Andy Gluck.

GN President Marcia Cooper praises Ira Krepchin for his 27 years of service.

Students for a Greener World (SGW) emcees Ben, Ciara, Carolina and Sophia welcomed the audience and guest speakers to ‘Our Green Scheme for 2019’ program that preceded the awards ceremony.

Students for a Greener World (SGW) celebrated 2019 Newton North graduate Ben Borghegyi with the traditional rosemary plant for remembrance of his activities as a Wild Boar!

Meghan Martineau and Angier Elementary students presented their school’s cafeteria composting and recycling project at the awards ceremony.