2023 Award Winners

Presenting the 2023 Environmental Innovation Award winners who are striving to be leaders of change through sustainable stewardship and forward-thinking for a greener tomorrow.  

Youth Award

Bridget Mousaw, Brighton High School Climate Club

Bridget Mousaw is known for her passion and tireless contribution to both high school and youth climate activism communities. As a member of the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders and New York Youth Climate Leaders, she helped plan the climate summit last year which was attended by youth of all ages from across the county. The Brighton Climate Club organizes events and projects including a district-wide Sustainability Plan and their Say No to the Throw event, an anti-fast-fashion thrift for Brighton High School students.

Individual Award - Lifetime Achievement

Gay Mills, Genesee Land Trust

Under Gay’s leadership, Genesee Land Trust built support for a 2.3 mile rails-to-trails project. El Camino Trail provides a safe, continuous pedestrian and bicycle route, accessible to citizens from all walks of life, that links key destinations in the city.  The project also helped establish a new park, Conkey Corner Park, that is reshaping a neighborhood. Projects like these are transforming the way conservation organizations engage and connect with urban communities.

Individual Award - Lifetime Achievement

David Klein, The Nature Conservancy

David is a true environmental leader having spent over 35 years devoted to restoring the lands and waters of our region, from the east coast to the shores of Lake Ontario. David has provided support in the rehabilitation of coastlines, nurturing of species who thrive along the shorelines and native fisheries, all while helping The Nature Conservancy pursue a sustainable water management plan that offers a chance to restore an entire Great Lake.

Civic / Nonprofit Award

Blocks In Bloom

Blocks in Bloom is a Rochester inner-city community beautification initiative that teaches residents in low-income neighborhoods how to grow and maintain front yard flower gardens. Blocks in Bloom is led by Kathy Lewis, a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County. Over the last decade, over 100 blocks have participated in the initiative.

Small Business

Impact Earth

Impact Earth’s growing outreach, commitment to community-wide education, and zero-waste driven business practices continue to expand since they were first nominated for this award in 2018. In 2014, Impact Earth started their first zero waste service in Ithaca, New York before expanding through the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region. This innovative company offers composting services to both residential and commercial businesses while teaching others how to make small changes with big impact. Impact Earth also has two sustainable storefronts in Victor and Brighton.

Large Business

WM High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center

WM is changing the narrative of what we think about when we hear “waste management” through their commitment to minimizing environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions, collaborating with community organizations, and providing hands-on-training to students. At the High Acres campus, WM is advancing from solely a service provider and landfill to a true sustainability partner by making it easier for communities to reduce waste, decrease emissions and use more recycled materials in a manner that is good for people, communities, and the environment.

The Seneca Park Zoo Society is dedicated to making a difference in our community through education and programming.

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