Issaquah environmentalists receive Green Globe Awards

May 10, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Every two years, King County awards its best environmentalists with the Green Globe Awards at the Earth Day Expo.

Of the 16 awards given to individuals, schools districts, cities and businesses that won the 2011 Green Globe Awards, three award-winners are from Issaquah — two people behind the Issaquah Zero Energy Village and Dr. Jessica Saepoff, a dentist with Natural Dental Health Associates in Issaquah.

County Executive Dow Constantine praised the finalists for their work toward helping “green” their communities.

“Award winners are leaders, innovators and are truly dedicated to making King County and the greater Puget Sound region such a tremendous place to live, work and play,” Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank all of our winners for proving that commitment and dedication makes a positive difference in the community.”

Linda Hall, with the YWCA, and Brad Liljequist, with zHome Issaquah Zero Energy, both received the award for Community Leadership in Green Building.

Their projects, the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and zHome, required years of planning, forethought and persistence on behalf of the YWCA and Issaquah to incorporate housing for Eastside working families.

Hall called herself “honored and humbled” after receiving the award, and thanked her colleagues who brought the idea to reality.

The village, located near the park & ride in the Issaquah Highlands, will offer 146 homes to working families. It shares a campus with zHome, a zero-energy project serving as the headquarters for the Stewardship Center for green building.

Their adjacent locations will mix the more affluent families in zHome with lower-income households at YWCA. In addition to being green, the innovative conjunction pushed the envelope, Hall said.

“In the Puget Sound region, we are already ahead of the curve,” Hall said. “To push the boundaries, you have to think a little differently.”

The other Issaquah winner, Saepoff, received the award for Leader in Hazardous Waste Reduction and Sustainable Business Practice.

“I was very excited to learn about the Green Globe Award, because it will remind people of the important role dental offices play in pollution prevention,” she wrote in an email.

Saepoff and her staff at Natural Dental Health Associates have created an office practicing natural and holistic dentistry. Using her background in naturopathic medicine, Saepoff offers the least toxic and least invasive treatments available, and has made the office free of mercury, latex, nickel, fluoride and fragrance, according to the news release.

“Every day is an earth day for me, and that doesn’t stop when I go through the door of my office every morning,” she wrote in an email. “There is no short-term gain that could ever be more important than the long-term health of this world and all of us who depend on it for our lives.”

The city of Sammamish also received a Green Globe Award for its work preserving rural land, earning it the Leader in Open Space Conservation award.

Thanks to a partnership between the Sammamish City Council and King County, the two have protected a rural open space around the city and used a market-based tool to shift growth into its new town center area.

The agreement transfers up to 700 acres of rural forest and pastureland in the Patterson Creek watershed to the Sammamish Town Center development, creating an “emerald necklace” of protected land and recreational trail opportunities around the city.

The Eastside has a strong history of earning Green Globe Awards. Issaquah municipal government and the Issaquah School District received Green Globe Awards at the 2009 Earth Day Expo.

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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