In the Know: Identifying tips and practices for a more sustainable future

Dunwoody, GA Honors Citizens for Commitment to the Environment

Dunwoody, GA – The City of Dunwoody recently announced the winners of its 2019 Sustainability Hero Awards, nominated by members of the community and selected for the honor by the City of Dunwoody Sustainability Committee. The mission of the Sustainability Committee is to advise and assist the City of Dunwoody to develop sustainable measures, practices, buildings, and fleets that are environmentally, economically, and socially responsible.

Mary Keesee was selected as the individual Sustainability Hero Award winner for her work as a volunteer for the Sustainability Committee’s watershed quality initiative. Once a week, she goes out to collect water samples from the Nancy Creek tributary that runs under the Dunwoody MARTA station. She also gathers the samples from a total of 10 Dunwoody collection sites and delivers them to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper lab for testing. The data collected over the past year has prompted DeKalb County to fix at least two major sewage spills.

“I feel like I am keeping myself accountable to sustainability every week when I deliver the samples for testing,” Mary Keesee said. “I can educate people about the process when they see me taking the samples. Last week, one fellow asked if I was testing for the coronavirus.”

Griffith Engineering was selected as the corporate Sustainability Hero Award winner for performing energy audits, at no charge, at several Dunwoody park buildings. This effort helped Dunwoody upgrade its Green Communities status with the Atlanta Regional Commission to Gold. The company also promotes volunteerism. Last year, a team from Griffith Engineering spent a day helping to remove non-native invasive plants at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we want to recognize these leaders in sustainability,” said Michael Cowan, chair of Dunwoody’s Sustainability Committee and executive director of the Dunwoody Nature Center. “They serve as examples to all as we look more closely at the roles we play in supporting our community and protecting the environment.”

The award winners are traditionally recognized during Dunwoody’s State of the City event. The 2020 event had to be canceled due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the winners will be recognized during a future Dunwoody City Council meeting.

For additional information:
Michael Cowan
Executive Director, Dunwoody Nature Center 

For resources and tools related to sustainability, visit the Center for Sustainability (C4S) and C4S Toolkit.