April 22, 2020, is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Started in 1970, the Earth Day movement has, since then, mobilized over one billion individuals worldwide to take action for the future of our planet. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.

Of more local awareness on this milestone anniversary, the City of Davis will present the 26th consecutive year of the Environmental Recognition Awards.

Commitment to stewardship

Lucas Frerichs, Davis City Council member, said, “Commitment to environmental stewardship is one of the hallmarks of the Davis community, and we are proud to recognize those organizations and individuals that contribute to that stewardship. It’s also essential to do so, especially as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, our planet needs that stewardship now more than ever.”

Honoring and celebrating local passion, both past and present, for building a sustainable community, the three award categories include businesses, individuals/community groups, and non-profit organizations/local government jurisdictions.

The Environmental Legacy Award, added in 2017 in Davis’ centennial year, recognizes events and programs that have made a significant environmental quality of life difference in Davis over time.

The City of Davis Natural Resources Commission (NRC) is now accepting nominations for the awards, due no later than March 17, 2020. Following review of community nominations, the NRC will forward the selected awards recommendations to City Council for a ceremonial presentation and reception on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Download the Environmetal Recognition Award nomination form.

Visit the Environmental Recognition Awards webpage on the City website.

2019 awardees

Last year, on the awards’ 25th anniversary, a diverse, standing room-only crowd gathered at City Hall to recognize the 2019 awardees, including five Environmental Recognition Awards (ERAs) and one Legacy Award.

Individual/Group ERAs were presented to Larry Fisher, a modern day tinker who lives and works locally to convert other folk’s trash into useful goods, and to Yvonne Hunter, a local leader and a steady hand in supporting new programs and policies to make the City of Davis a more sustainable community.

The business awards went to two local businesses that have not only improved Davis’ resiliency and economic strength, but whose leaders have contributed their own time to community environmental efforts and awareness: Aaron Nitzkin, Solar Roof Dynamics and Kevin Perry, Urban Rain Design.

The non-profit award went to a unique local group, ‘Circle of Bees’, led by Christian Coulon. Advocating for bees, the enthusiastic group infuses art and honey-making with practical solutions to move stressed swarms from unwanted locations to desirable homes.

Last year’s event culminated with the Environmental Legacy Award, most deservedly presented by Mayor Brett Lee to Davis Central Park Gardens and the community activism 30 years ago that helped expand Central Park to its current configuration. Awards were presented to former Mayor Maynard Skinner, organizer of Save Our Space (SOS) in the 1980s, and Central Park Gardens’ Emily Griswold and Peggy Smith. The Legacy Award was also presented by Randii MacNear, Lois Wolk, and Ann Evans.

For more information

For more information contact Kerry Loux, Sustainability Coordinator for the Community Development and Sustainability Department at kloux@cityofdavis.org.


Larry Fisher has dedicated his life’s work to upcycling materials rather than downcycling them. Photo credit Zoe Poppenga.


Kevin Perry accepts the award on behalf of his firm Urban Rain Design, flanked by his son and intern. Photo credit Zoe Poppenga.


Aaron Nitzkin accepts the award on behalf of his firm, Solar Roof Dynamics. Photo credit Zoe Poppenga.


Christian Coulon accepts the award on behalf of Circle of Bees. Photo credit Zoe Poppenga


nvironmental Recognition Award recipient Yvonne Hunter shares a smile with Council Member Lucas Frerichs Tuesday April 23, 2019. Photo credit: Zoe Poppenga.


Maynard Skinner, Emily Griswold, and Peggy Smith accepted the award on behalf of Central Park Gardens. Photo credit Zoe Poppenga.