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Envision Florida
Defining Excellence for Florida's Economic, Environmental and Social Future 
May 2011 - Special Announcement
Awards can be a good thing. It is nice to be recognized for your efforts. The thrill of winning a competition helps make the effort worthwhile. The Sustainable Florida - Collins Center program is perhaps best known for its awards programs. Our Best Practice Awards are now in their 14th year and our predecessor organization - the Environmental Education Foundation - presented awards for a couple years before that.
For the last couple years, Sustainable Florida has been a Florida Green School Awards partner. We are honored to work with the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Education, The Florida Foundation and others on this project.
But while awards are nice, changing behaviors in a systemic manner to create a sustainable Florida is the real mission. When a best practice is identified, it is our hope and desire that promoting it will spur an industry to adopt that practice.
One group working to make such a change is the USGBC and its Center for Green Schools with its mission to help bring green schools to every child this generation. And we are glad to be working with them. Perhaps you'd like to be involved in this effort - green buildings, green curriculum, and plenty of chances for the community to become engaged in their local schools.
If you are interested and want to find out more - please join us for a special webinar/conference call tomorrow - Wednesday (5/25) at 4:30 PM. See the information below.
In the mean time, I hope that you join us for this year's Sustainable Florida annual Best Practice Awards on Thursday, June 2 at 7 PM, in Daytona Beach. Make your reservations now! 
And, finally, as a reminder, the Florida Green Schools Awards program is now in its third year. Nominations are now being accepted for students, teachers, classrooms, schools and districts. Perhaps you know of a worthy effort. See below for details. If so please nominate them today!
As always, thank you for all the effort that you make to help create a sustainable Florida.
All the best -
Tim's signature 
Tim Center, Esq.
Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives
Collins Center for Public Policy
What if all schools were green?
Join the call and find out how....

WebinarThe United States Green Building Council (USGBC) launched the Center for Green Schools last year. Last month, the US Department of Education announced the Green Ribbon Program to advance sustainable schools. The Florida-based USGBC chapters are working on how best to support the efforts of local school districts to create green schools.


Last year, Florida's Green School Award applicants generated a total of $5.2 million in cost savings through their initiatives (What if all schools were green?). Approximately 25 percent of the national population goes to school every day in nearly 140,000 schools, colleges and universities. Fresh and clean air improves health, daylight boosts concentration, comfortable temperatures increase focus and improved acoustics enable communication. A green school also serves as an interactive teaching tool, imparting lessons of stewardship and kinship, preparing students for life beyond its walls.


We invite you to join us on the vision of green schools for everyone in this generation. This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen the environments and curricula that support our students and teachers. There are some great downloadable guides on the website.


A special webinar is being held on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at 4:30 PM EDT. You are invite to join us especially if you are a School and school district administrators, facilities managers, teachers, and anyone interested in green school efforts in Florida. Here's how you can join us:


Greens Schools - Florida



Meet the Best Practice Nominees
Awards Dinner in June

The Sustainable Florida Best Practice Awards dinner will be held at 7 PM on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach. The dinner will follow a reception in conjunction with the Florida Green Building Coalition's annual Green Trends Conference. Registration is now open - dinner and a show for $45 (nominees get a free ticket). We hope to see you there as we honor this year's nominees, finalists and winners.


2011 Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award Finalists


  • Darren E. Fancher, P.E. - Helping to transform state policy at the Department of Management Services to help reduce energy consumption and energy costs in state-owned buildings.
  • Get There Green - City of Tallahassee - A holistic multi-modal transportation program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the capital city.
  • Leon County and Leon County Extension - Establishing a Green Demonstration Center to teach about water conservation, renewable energy and more in a living lab open to the public.


Green Building 

  • Carlson Studio Architecture: New Facility for the Cancer Support Community - Using 27% less energy and 82% less water, the 11,000 sq. ft. environmentally healthy building serves those with a compromised immune system.
  • On Top of the World Communities - The Ocala-based development sold more than 975 Energy Star-rated homes, irrigates golf courses with reclaimed water and promotes a model solar home that produces 96% of the energy needed.
  • Steve Sadler and Michaela Miller - a 2009 Finalist when it was in the planning stages, the new home is one of the most energy- and water-efficient in the state and has become a tour stop for environmental tour groups and building professionals. 

Large Business 

  • ClosetMaid, an Emerson Company - Located in Ocala, the company has reduced well-water consumption by 12%, eliminated harsh chemicals in manufacturing and recycles its waste water.
  • Rosen Hotels & Resorts - a 2009 Finalist and 2010 Legacy Award winner (Harris Rosen), this independently-owned hotel chain has been a leader since 2006 in energy efficiency, water conservation, cooking oil reuse, waste recycling and more.
  • Universal Orlando - With its "Green is Universal" campaign, the company has retooled its operations to focus on water, energy, waste, horticulture and fuels.



  • Clean the World, Inc. - The Orlando-based non-profit diverts from landfills gently used bar soap and toiletries from hotels and resorts and through hygienically safe recycling distributes to more than 40 countries to prevent disease.
  • Michael Madfis - An architect turned urban farmer, Michael helps establish organic community gardens in southeast Florida.
  • Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority - In pursuit of an environmentally sustainable water supply, the Authority engaged four counties to create a 6-billion gallon off-stream reservoir. 


  • Allison Samowitz and Jillian Samowitz - The teen-aged twin sisters created 'Proseed2Green' to encourage sustainable living in Golden Beach in South Florida.
  • Baptist Health South Florida - The largest non-for-profit health care system and private-sector employer in South Florida opened a LEED-certified acute-care hospital.
  • The Mustard Seed of Central Florida - Created a mattress recycling program that creates jobs for ex-offenders and reduces landfill waste.


  • Leon County and Leon County Extension - Establishing a Green Demonstration Center to teach about water conservation, renewable energy and more in a living lab open to the public.
  • Miami Corporation, Volusia County, and Brevard County - Through regional visioning and cooperation from government, this 59,000 acre tract preserves 80% of the land in a large-scale private development.
  • Palm Beach County and Florida Power & Light Company - One of the state's largest single use of reclaimed water in Palm Beach County goes to help FPL operate three highly-efficient natural gas-fired generators.


Small Business 

  • - A grassroots effort in Tampa Bay to promote shopping local, independent businesses.
  • Michael Madfis - An architect turned urban farmer, Michael helps establish organic community gardens in southeast Florida.
  • TEAM BG - BG Dealer Services "Go Green Programs" - A Tallahassee distributor of engine fluids that help clean emissions, reduce oil consumption and shrink the carbon footprint of vehicles and fleets. 

2011 Judges


For nothing but a thank you and a complimentary dinner at the awards program, we are eternally grateful to the 2011 Judges. We could not do it but for those who reviewed more than 90 nominations in seven categories.


Jeff Bartel

Managing Director

Hamptons Group, LLC


Dena Calivas

Realtor, Certified EcoBroker



Don Davis

President, Capital City Bank


Roberta Fernandez

Director of Business Development, USA

AtKisson Group


Michael Hewett

Manager, Environmental Services

Publix Super Markets


Milissa Holland

Flagler County Commissioner


Lewis Johnson

Director, Environmental Health & Safety

Florida Gulf Coast University


Joe Kilsheimer


Joe Kilsheimer Consulting, Inc.


Gregory Mason

Director of Sustainability

Broward College


Jennifer McAlister

Project Manager LEED AP

NDC Construction Company


Scott Gregory Minos

Senior Policy & Communications Specialist

U.S. Department of Energy


Devesh Nirmul

Director of Energy and Sustainability

FirstService Residential Management


Judy Sanchez

Director of Corporate Communications

United States Sugar Corporation


Estrella Sibila, Esq.


Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole &
Boniske, P.L.


Stephanie Sims

Office of Sustainability

University of Florida


Robert "Ron" Solomon

Director of Public Services

White Mountain, LLC


Jennifer Szaro

Renewable Energy Project Engineer

Orlando Utilities Commission


David Tillis

Senior Project Manager, Planning



Bradley Touchstone, AIA

Founder and Principal Architect

Touchstone Architecture

Get your tickets today!!

Book a room while your at it...

Nominate Green Schools Today!
 Deadline in June - Spread the word!

Green School AwardsFlorida Governor Rick Scott issued a proclaimation heralding National Environmental Education Week (April 11-17). In the proclamation, he promoted the Florida Green School Awards program. Now in it's third year, you are encouraged to nominate a student, teacher, class, school or school district for their efforts to create green learning environments, promote recycling, encourage service learning, and promote policies that establish a broader foundation for green schools.


Sustainable Florida is proud to be a partner with the Florida Department of Education and Department of Environmental Protection along with Florida's Foundation to present this award program.


Winners will be announced at the Learn Green: Green Schools Conference and Expo
in Palm Beach County in November. 


Nominate Today! 

Rain, Rain, Go Away....
Does it really rain when you wash your car?

Water - a precious dropSeems like some parts of Florida are having a drought while others are seeing watering restrictions reduced. No matter where you live, the story is the same. When Florida gets rain it can't always figure out what to do with it. Well, perhapos the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association has the answer.


Please consider joining them at their novice and accredited rainwater harvesting workshops in Daytona next week. The workshops are being held in conjunction with the Florida Green Building Coalition's Green Trends Conference.


Become a Sustainable Florida - Collins Center Partner
Your Support Means the State to Us!

Red Royal PalmSustainable Florida - Collins Center relies upon the support of private contributions from individual and corporate partners and grants from foundations. An investment in Sustainable Florida is an investment in the future of Florida. 


Thank you to Walt Disney World for becoming the newest Royal Palm Partner! Walt Disney World Resorts and Parks have been doing great things for the environment and their financial bottom line for years. Whether it is energy, waste, water, supply chain, transportation or education, Disney has a great story to tell. Their involvement in Sustainable Florida activities has been incredible.


Also, joining the Partner ranks is CHEP - a gloabal leader in shipping pallet pooling systems. Goods are shipped on millions of pallets throughout the world. CHEP ensures that the pallets don't damage the goods, repair them when they are damaged and recycle them at the end of their lifespan. The Orlando-based group recently launched their sustainability page.


We are honored by their support!

All friends, partners and sponsors get a discount on Sustainable Florida events like the annual conference. And we make sure people know you are a supporter with a sticker, name tag ribbon and signage at events. And our Royal Palm-level donors get a framed print of the Royal Palm series of original art work from Tallahassee-based artist William Lamb.


As is it is with recycling, every little bit moves us toward our goal. Please consider a generous tax-deductible gift today.

Tim Center, Esq. - Director
Sustainable Florida - Collins Center
850/219.0082 x 1411
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