Tourism Officials call for 2016 Worcester Green nominations

Worcester County Tourism is accepting nominations through April 8, 2016 for the 5th annual Worcester Green Awards. Worcester Green celebrates excellence in promoting environmentally friendly practices, strategies and products.

“Our county is fortunate to have so many who are dedicated to cultivating a more sustainable tomorrow by instituting best practices today,” Worcester County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger said.

Awards will be granted to Worcester County businesses that demonstrate extraordinary performance related to sustainable environmental practices, such as water conservation, wastewater management, the promotion of alternative transportation and transit, recycling, energy conservation, on-site renewable energy production, use of local products and food sources and the purchase of renewable energy. Nominations are being accepted in the following five categories:

Community Leader- Business Person or Organization - This award will recognize a long term contribution to the environment by an individual, volunteer or an organization. Efforts should engage community building or conservation.

Business - This award will recognize a positive ecological footprint in some or all of these areas: storm water, recycling, sedimentation and erosion controls, construction debris reuse, and energy innovation.

Lodging - This award will recognize a lodging partner who includes some or all of these practices: recycles, use of organic cleaning supplies, reduction of water consumption and use of alternative energy sources.

Restaurant - This award will recognize a restaurant that has made a concerted effort to buy local, recycle, reduce waste and energy consumption and involve staff and community.

Teacher - The recipient of this award will have demonstrated leadership in teaching others about the environment.

Applicants will be judged on their overall level of commitment, measurable environmental benefits or progress, cost savings, and customer outreach and engagement. To qualify, applicants must reside or operate businesses in Worcester County. Awards will be announced during the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association dinner meeting on April 14 in Ocean City.

Last year, the Community Leader award went to Green Team chair Bill Killinger, of the Community Church at Ocean Pines, for instituting a recycling program at the church and hosting highway cleanup projects. Plak That earned the Business award for using power generated with wind energy through a Delmarva Power supplier and utilizing UPS’s carbon neutral shipping program, and for participating in the 1% for the Planet program.

The River Gem B&B at The Littleton T. Clarke House in Pocomoke, a Maryland Green Travel Partner, won the Lodging award for serving organic coffee and fresh, local produce and hosting recycling and low energy projects.

The Blacksmith in Berlin received the Restaurant award for serving fresh seafood from West Ocean City and Crisfield, produce from local farmers, bakeries and breweries and utilizing reusable rather than disposable products.

Mendy Stover-Fiori, a first grade teacher at Ocean City Elementary School, won the Teacher award for demonstrating sustainable gardening in the classroom, where they manage a worm farm/compost project and a Trash to Treasure project.

Worcester Green is sponsored by Worcester County Tourism, Comcast Spotlight, OceanCity.com, OC Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, and Maryland Green Travel. The purpose of the program is to encourage Worcester County businesses and community leaders to engage in environmentally sustainable practices, learn more about such practices and grow their businesses at the same time. 

For more information about the Worcester Green Awards, visit www.visitworcester.org.