FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (2/20/13) – The Arizona and Kentucky Army National Guard took honors for fiscal year 2012 in the Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards.
The awards recognize the efforts of Army installations, teams and individuals to sustain and restore the natural and cultural resources found on Army lands throughout the U.S. and in Europe.
Dorenda Coleman, sustainability manager for the Arizona Army National Guard was cited for working closely with Arizona State University to develop and launch the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate program.
The program is designed to better educate Army and Army National Guard Soldiers and employees, and to prepare the next generation of sustainability professionals.
The program, which started last spring, is the first program of its kind, custom-developed to feature contemporary examples of sustainability challenges and opportunities relevant to Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve missions and operations.
In Kentucky, the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center of the Kentucky Army National Guard was honored in natural resources conservation for a large installation.
An Army news release said the installation partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enable expansion of their prescribed fire program.
The installation maintains its own burning unit and fire fighting team to conduct prescribed fires in house. USFWS and KYDFWR staffers who conduct burns on the post for training events further support these experts. Use of prescribed fire allows the installation to avoid use of herbicides and the installation's native grass restoration program coincides with pest species control.
Restoring native vegetation already has had positive impacts on wildlife populations, including recently documenting the first recorded instance of natural pheasant reproduction in the state.
Information on other winners is available here.
These Secretary of the Army Award winners will next compete in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition, which recognizes the top environmental sustainability programs among all military branches. The winners of that competition will receive their awards at a July 10 Pentagon ceremony.