INDIANAPOLIS -- The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) will recognize the Putnamville Correctional Facility as the Organization of the Year during its third annual Green Policy Forum in Indianapolis on Saturday.
The Putnamville Correctional Facility has been a national leader in finding ways to achieve a holistic vision of sustainability for prisons. Located in Putnamville, the state prison has a long-standing, full-fledged recycling operation and a significant composting practice, as well as a tremendous commitment to using native plants throughout their site.
The facility has also embraced green energy. Its main heating boiler is run by sustainable biomass, generated by the woodchips of old construction pallets.
A wind turbine also powers one of their key offices.
"We could all learn a few lessons from Putnamville," said HEC executive director Jesse Kharbanda. "This facility is truly a model for prisons across the country, in terms of incorporating sustainable, environmentally-conscious practices into everyday activities."
This Saturday's forum will feature presentations on HEC's legislative priorities for the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly, which include clean energy, public transit, protection of lakes and rivers and sustainable agriculture.
It will also offer participants the opportunity to learn about effective citizen engagement and the legislative process.
Participants will hear from Rick Dove, who will share how the waterways in North Carolina -- a state that has one of the largest concentrations of industrial hog operations in the country -- have been impacted these operations.
He will also detail steps Hoosiers can take to foster healthier and more sustainable forms of agriculture.
The Green Policy Forum is open to the public; however, attendees are encouraged to register in advance at www.hecweb.org
The registration fee is $20 per person, which includes lunch. Students with a valid student ID can attend for $15.
The Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana's leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies. HEC works to raise awareness and stimulate discussion about environmental issues in Indiana -- and ultimately help change laws, create jobs, protect and improve the environment, and make Indiana a healthier, better place to live and do business. Find out more at www.hecweb.org