City receives Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

Press release from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM):

City of Fort Wayne receives Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for brownfield site redevelopment

(IDEM, 9/10/2009) – Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented City of Fort Wayne representatives John Urbahns and Gary Lyman with an award for achievements in the category of “Land Use” during the 2009 Indiana Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence ceremony. The event was held Sept. 10 on the Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis campus in conjunction with the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts 17th annual conference.

The city redeveloped a downtown brownfield site into a new ballpark stadium called “Parkview Field” for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The brownfield site was an old, underutilized property that was covered with asphalt parking lots and substandard housing. The former paved parking lots were consolidated and were replaced with an 880-space parking garage. The Parkview Field Stadium held its first game on April 16, 2009, has a total capacity of 8,000 to 9,000, including lawn seating, and is valued at $30 million.

“Harrison Square, a multiuse development in the heart of Fort Wayne’s downtown, is a prime example of infill development in our city, and the new ballpark has been nothing but a success,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “I am honored Governor Daniels is recognizing Harrison Square as a 2009 Environmental Excellence in Land Use award winner for a project that has become a Fort Wayne hallmark of downtown revitalization.”

An annual award program that began in 1994, the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize Indiana’s leaders who have identified and implemented innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. The awards program is open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results. A review committee consisting of representatives from industry, environmental organizations, education, and government evaluate each Governor’s Awards application, considering how each project reflects and advances environmental excellence, economic prosperity, and leadership commitment to these improvements.

By seeking out and utilizing innovative environmental practices, these facilities and programs have reduced waste, saved money and contributed greatly to Indiana’s environmental protection efforts, benefiting the health and welfare of the state’s communities. Other 2009 winners include: Caterpillar, Inc., City of Ligonier, Franklin College, Howard County Recycling District, and Katie Beesley, “Recycling/Reuse” category; Portage Redevelopment Commission and Town of Munster, “Land Use” category; Frankfort Municipal Utilities and Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Green Congregations Task Force, “Outreach” category.

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