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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Awards honor people, places putting the green in Greencastle

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The time-honored economic battle cry of local business understandably has long been "Keep the green in Greencastle."

Tuesday night city officials turned their attention not to business, but the environment, honoring some faithful stewards of land, water and air who are helping put a different green in Greencastle.

Four individuals and a local business were honored with 2013 Greencastle Sustainability Awards in a brief ceremony at the outset of the monthly City Council meeting at City Hall.

The 2013 Sustainability Award winners are:

Winners of the 2013 Greencastle Sustainability Awards announced Tuesday night at City Hall are (from left) Shannon Norman, Green Employee of the Year; Gwen Morris, Lifetime Achievement Award; Allison Orjala, One-to-Watch Award; Larry Tippin, Preservationist of the Year; Barbara Rader, receiving the Green Business of the Year Award on behalf of the Consignment Place; and Sustainability Commission Chairman Mike Schimpf, who announced the recipients. [Order this photo]
-- The Consignment Place, 303 N. Jackson St., Green Business Award.

-- City Planner Shannon Norman, Green Employee Award.

-- DePauw University student Allison Orjala, One-to-Watch Award.

-- Cemetery restoration volunteer Larry TIppin, Preservationist of the Year Award.

-- Retired school teacher and principal Gwen Morris, Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Green Business Award winner is the Consignment Place, owned by Patrick Shaw at 303 N. Jackson St., Greencastle.

"Recycling is not only for paper and plastics," Schimpf noted in presenting the award to Barbara Rader on behalf of the year-old business. "Consignment shopping ultimately promotes a recycling consumer mindset."

The Consignment Place has created an inviting spot to shop for gently used and never-used items to furnish a home or simply re-fashion on a budget, the award notes.

The Consignment Place provides a practical way to recycle items such as dining, living and bedroom home furnishings, décor items, mirrors, artwork, sports equipment, tools and outdoor furnishings. It also has a boutique that carries name-brand, current-style clothing from children to adults, sports apparel, jewelry and fashion accessories.

The 2013 Green Employee Award was presented to Shannon Norman, the City of Greencastle's planner and MS4 coordinator.

"Shannon has worked tirelessly on our green community efforts, Tree City and Growth Awards and MS4 compliance issues," Mayor Murray noted, adding that Norman also serves on the county's Soil and Water Conservation District Advisory Board as well as the City Tree Board.

Norman is a "true champion of sustainability and clean water for the city and our greater Greencastle community," the award noted.

Winner of the 2013 "One-to-Watch" Award is Allison Orjala, a DePauw University student in her third year as a technology intern for the Office for Sustainability.

Orjala has led many initiatives at DePauw, including Move Out efforts the last two years. A conflict studies major, she regularly works to raise awareness and create change involving sustainability issues.

"Allison is someone I will always want on my team," offered DPU Assistant Sustainability Director Anthony Baratta in nominating her.

Meanwhile, Preservationist of the Year Larry Tippin was nominated by Councilor Bingham for his continuing work in cemetery conservation, restoration and repair.

That is clearly his avocation, Bingham noted, adding that by day Tippin "is a mild-mannered accountant."

Using environmentally friendly methods, Tippin employs a nylon strap and tripod to lift old gravestones back into place. He utilizes only water and a nylon brush to clean gravestones and repairs broken stones by using crack filler colored to match the stone.

The restored old Greencastle City Cemetery on West Hanna Street by Blackstock Stadium is a prime example of his labor of love. Tippin has laboriously cleaned and repaired each stone, tediously recording each name and location for posterity.

Tippin, a Putnam County native and rural Roachdale resident, also has restored several pioneer cemeteries around the county, providing valuable family information for local historians along the way.

He was similarly honored last year with the 2012 Historic Preservation Award from the Washburn Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Greencastle.

Rounding out the list of 2013 award winners is Lifetime Achievement honoree Gwen Morris of Greencastle.

Morris has spent the last 25 years working to make Greencastle a cleaner, greener place. Long before sustainability became a "buzz word" she was working to establish a curbside recycling program and headed the efforts of the Clean City Committee.

In 1990, the City Council authorized a grant application to the Indiana Recycling Program to help fund curbside recycling. When that grant, written by Morris, was awarded to the city, voluntary recycling became available in Greencastle in 1991.

Many residents probably remember Morris actually delivering those first recycling bags and later bins to persons interested in the program, Mayor Murray noted.

During her tenure at Deer Meadow School, Morris led an effort that won the 2010 energy challenge sponsored by Duke Energy and the Sustainability Commission. Deer Meadow realized thousands of dollars in energy savings as a result of the schoolwide effort, outsaving the other school buildings, including McAnally Center, and winning $5,000 to continue school energy-efficiency efforts.

Morris also advocated for an outdoor classroom and championed the Deer Meadow PTO's effort to sponsor a "Going Green Night."

"Gwen has been a leader for a lifetime," Mayor Murray said, "and for that inspiration and effort, we honor her tonight."

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