Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
Date: April 10, 2009
Contact: Solid Waste Division Awards: 
Toni Fuller
Surface and Stormwater Management Clean Water Awards:
Pat Kirschbaum
Phone: Kitsap One-360-337-5777
No: 09-23

Kitsap County Announces Earth Day and Clean Water Partner Award Winners

Click here for photos of award recipients

(Port Orchard, WA) – The annual Earth Day Awards presentation will take place at 7 pm on April 13 at the Board of County Commissioners regular televised meeting at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard. 

There will be a reception immediately following the presentation in the Administration Building’s main lobby. The press is invited to meet this year’s winners.

Solid Waste Division, 2009 Earth Day Awards
The 2009 Solid Waste Division Earth Day Awards are presented to individual citizens, organizations, schools, and businesses for their innovative environmental programs or projects. Nominations were sought for exemplary environmental leadership qualities in programs or projects emphasizing sustainability, waste reduction, recycling, and hazardous waste management. The awards committee selected these outstanding achievers who make a difference with their choices, and lead the way as they make others aware of environmental issues.

Best Hazardous Waste Program: South Kitsap School District 
South Kitsap School District has been proactive in working with the Moderate Risk Waste Program staff to safely remove hazardous chemicals from their schools. They go above and beyond what most small quantity generators of hazardous waste do to ensure their program is in compliance. Some of the materials had unique hazards that required research and special handling, and even in a tough economic environment they have found funding support for these efforts. This is a comprehensive hazardous waste management program that has support from all facets of the district including teachers, administration and maintenance staff. South Kitsap School District is viewed as a model program for others to emulate.

Excellence in Environmental Leadership (Business): Kingston Worm Farm 
Over nine years ago Paula Listel chose a business for her family that would allow her daughter Esther, who has Down Syndrome, to be directly involved with her own development and personal growth while learning the importance of environmental stewardship. Now both she and her 19-year-old daughter Hannah work for 11 year-old Esther. Sharing their time and their red wrigglers, they teach composting and worm farming to school children, non-profit organizations, and the farming and business communities. Their newly created website is a remarkable example of their knowledge, quality of service, and mission. Every one who goes to the Kingston Worm Farm in search of a way to reduce their waste and be more earth-friendly, leaves with inspiration, new knowledge, and the ability to make a difference in the environment. 

Excellence in Environmental Leadership (Civic): Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island 
Bainbridge Island Rotary is committed to keeping the environment as clean as possible while providing services to the community at the same time. They have hosted the oil-based paint and yard chemicals collection events since 2001, promoting proper disposal of household hazardous waste and the use of alternatives, while publicizing the Kitsap County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. More than 10 tons of waste has been collected from the community over the last eight years! For close to half a century, the club has also hosted the annual Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale, raising money for worthy causes while promoting reuse. While this award goes to the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club for its many environmental efforts, special acknowledgement goes to Don Mannino, the lead organizer of the collection events, and to Elaine Tanner, the chair of the auction and rummage sale recycling program. Don and Elaine exemplify the Rotary motto "Service Above Self", and are specially recognized for their efforts to protect the environment through these projects.

Excellence in Recycling: Emu Composting Facility 
EMU Composting Facility in Hansville is a permitted composting facility that accepts yard waste and organic composting materials from local homeowners and businesses, significantly reducing the need to burn, resulting in cleaner air. Reusing wood debris and existing yard waste as compost is a great way to reduce the use of a chemical fertilizer, cuts down on the amount of debris in the landfill, and improves drainage for gardens and planting areas. Owner Ron Phillips donates time and materials to the community, hosting facility tours and teaching children about composting. His determination and innovative thinking toward green living, has created an environmentally friendly business with a tremendous commitment to providing these services to the public. Emu Composting Facility provides encouragement to the members of our communities to recycle, to think greener, and to be conscientious of the earth and the environment. 

Outstanding School Program: Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School, Bainbridge Island School District 
There are 90 students on the Wilkes Elementary Green Team, formed in 2007. The Parent Teacher Organization is also involved with gardening and landscaping, and coordinating the Green Team. They created a system to measure their results and their recycling efforts have doubled. Their efforts to improve recycling and reduce garbage weight include: planting seeds from last year’s sunflowers, rinsing milk cartons for composting, recycling paper, composting food waste, turning off lights, and closing doors. This is an ongoing effort taken very seriously at the school, with staff and student participation at 100%. Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary does not find obstacles - they find opportunities.

Partners in Environmental Education: Sunnyslope Elementary School, South Kitsap School District 
The Food to Flowers Program at Sunnyslope Elementary is the first food waste-recycling program in the South Kitsap School District. The students divert their lunchroom food waste to the compost bins where it is picked up by a hauler and composted into nutrient rich soil. Student monitors run this project by managing the sorting line and helping peers. In order to participate the students have to keep grades and assignments up, give up peer socializing time, and maintain a schedule that depends on them showing up on time. There is an increased awareness among students, faculty, and staff about composting, the waste stream, and individual responsibility as stewards of the environment. This project also has helped students to see the working collaborative effort between community agencies and groups, as well as individuals. Because of the efforts of students, administrative staff, facilities staff, faculty, district personnel, and the student monitors’ team, they have collected 4,000 pounds of food waste in ten weeks! 

Waste Wi$e Kitsap: Information Services 
Each year this award is given to an employee, department or committee whose actions have reduced waste in County operations. By reducing the number of servers and upgrading their power infrastructure in the computer room, they improved the air-cooling efficiency and will save about $30,000 a year on electricity--nearly a 50% savings! As for waste reduction, they reduced their order of community phone books from 800 to 350 and promoted using the online version. They also discontinued printing the employee phone book--- choosing to provide the information on the County's Intranet pages instead of printing 1200 copies. Information Services has emerged as a model for County departments when examining its energy usage.

Surface and Stormwater Management Program 
2009 Clean Water Partner Awards 

The Kitsap County Clean Water Partner Awards are given to Kitsap citizens, community groups, and businesses that have worked with the Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management Program to improve local water quality. The four agencies funded through the program are Kitsap County Public Works, Kitsap County Department of Community Development, Kitsap County Health District, and Kitsap Conservation District. Each agency has chosen a recipient based on their participation and cooperation with that agency’s responsibilities in relation to water quality.

Agriculture: Sharon and Jay Howard, Possum Run Farm 
Sharon and Jay Howard’s Possum Run Farm is located in Port Orchard. Burley Creek runs through the southwest corner of their farm, and there are wetlands in its eastern portion. The Howards raise and sell registered Highland cattle for breeding stock and meat. They also raise pigs and chickens. The Howards have been working with the Kitsap Conservation District since 2005 and have taken great care to protect both the wetlands and the creek on their property, implementing exclusion fencing, heavy use areas, rotational grazing, and other best management practices. They also alternate species across pastures, for example, in the summer grazing the hogs on the cows’ winter pasture.

In addition to raising livestock, Sharon, who is a master gardener, grows an extraordinary vegetable garden and sells produce at the Port Orchard Farmers Market. Jay takes care of the farm equipment and recently converted a single horse trailer into a unique and effective ‘egg mobile’. This is a portable chicken yard and coop that they move into a pasture after the cattle have been moved off. The hens work the manure, scratching it apart and eating any bugs or maggots. It saves the Howards from having to drag the fields, and also breaks parasite cycles and cuts down on flies. All done naturally! For their efforts in sustainable livestock production and environmental stewardship, they have been selected as Kitsap Conservation District’s Clean Water Partners for 2009.

Stormwater: Harrison Hospital, Silverdale 
The storm system for drainage control at Harrison Hospital in Silverdale is a very sophisticated system that connects to the County’s drainage system. It is crucial for these types of systems to be monitored and maintained on a regular basis in order to minimize pollutants entering local waterways, in this case Dyes Inlet. The engineering staff at Harrison Hospital Silverdale not only has the system cleaned regularly, but also monitors how other actions on the property may impact the maintenance schedule for the system. For example, weather conditions this past winter required more sanding than usual, which led to more sediment entering the drainage system. In order for the system to work properly, the system needed to be cleaned more frequently to remove this excess sediment. This diligence toward drainage system monitoring and maintenance is why Harrison Hospital Silverdale has been chosen as Kitsap County Public Works’ Clean Water Partner for 2009.

Septic System Repair: Chris Billings 
Chris Billings is a senior citizen who lives in Port Orchard. Her septic system failed, and she called the Kitsap County Health District to report the problem. She took quick action on her own to prevent sewage from running off of her property and causing a public health problem. Health District staff told her how to proceed with the repair, and she managed the process on her own, quickly and efficiently. She worked with Shorebank to obtain a loan for the repair. Now she has a new drip irrigation system, and is very happy with its performance. She says she is an environmentalist, and just wanted to do what is right. For her commitment to protect local water quality, Chris has been selected as Kitsap County Health District’s Clean Water Partner for 2009.

Stream Team: King’s West Stream Team 
Stream Team would like to recognize the King’s West Stream Team with the 2009 Clean Water Partner Award. With the persistent motivation from King’s West teacher, Teresa Brooks, the students at King’s West have dedicated themselves to the stewardship of Chico Creek, which runs directly behind the school at Erland’s Point Park. Through a Community Salmon Fund grant and working with Stream Team, students will be conducting water quality monitoring and other watershed enhancement projects such as removing invasive vegetation and replanting the riparian area with native trees and shrubs. Most of the science will be conducted behind the school (enriching many areas of study), but students have already been active stewards, participating in restoration activities at other sites within the Chico Watershed. 



To contact the Public Information Officer, 
call Doug Bear at 360-337-4598 or email:

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014