33rd Annual Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards

Arizona Heritage Alliance Board Members: Jim McPherson, Elizabeth Woodin, Sam Campana, Janice Miano, Matt Fesko, Thom Hulen & Bonnie Bariola.

[Source: Bonnie Bariola, TriValleyCentral.com] – More that 100 entries were received in this year’s competition, demonstrating the priority of sustainable design and development in Arizona. Categories for submissions were: Buildings and structures, livable communities, site development and landscape, art in public places, environmental technologies, environmental education/communication, and environmental stewardship.

Arizona Forward initiated the Environmental Excellence Awards in 1980 to recognize outstanding contributions to the physical environment of our local communities.  The program has grown significantly and now serves as a benchmark for promoting livability, conserving natural resources and sustaining our unique desert environment for future generations.

Janice Miano, executive director of the Heritage Alliance, was the recipient of Arizona Forward’s Award of Merit for Environmental Stewardship (SRP Award). The Arizona Heritage Alliance continues its efforts to get the Arizona State Parks portion of the Heritage Fund restored.

The Arizona Heritage Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1992 to protect Arizona’s Heritage Fund and its objectives. It is guided by a board of directors drawn from a broad base of outdoor sports, environmental conservation, and historic preservation organizations that helped pass the 1990 statewide voter initiative creating the Heritage Fund. After numerous state legislative attempts, unfortunately during extreme difficult economic times, in 2009 the Legislature was successful in eliminating one-half of the Heritage Fund.

Since that time, Janice has lead the Heritage Alliance Board of Directors and others, both organizations and individuals, working to persuade the Legislature to restore the funds and the statutory language which also had been removed. She has worked with a growing coalition of groups like Arizona Forward, the Sierra Club, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, the State Parks Foundation, the Historic Preservation Foundation and many others as well as with many concerned individuals to come up with other ways of fulfilling the promise of the Heritage Fund and Arizona State Parks.

Janice has left no stone unturned in the search for a way to recover the lost ability of citizens to enhance and protect the historic, natural, and recreational values lost during that dark, closed-door budget-balancing session in 2009.

Editor’s Note: Bonnie Bariola represents the Florence Preservation Foundation on the Heritage Alliance Board of Directors and holds the office of treasurer for the organization.

2013 Crescordia Award Winner

[Source: Bonnie Bariola, TriValleyCentral.com] – Receiving the Crescordia Award for the 1891 Pinal County Courthouse Rehabilitation are (from left) Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios, Supervisor Cheryl Chase, and Chairman of the Board Steve Miller.

1891 Pinal County courthouse recognized for excellence in preservation

[Source: Bonnie Bariola, TriValleyCentral.com] – The 1891 Second Pinal County Courthouse Rehabilitation collected another honor Saturday as it received the Crescordia Award for Buildings and Structures/Historic Preservation. “We are so pleased to receive this recognition from Arizona Forward and from Governor Brewer,” Pinal County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Steve Miller said. “Not only is it a functional county office building, it’s also a tourist attraction. Practically every business day we have tourists and history buffs stop in to see the building. They all remark about how wonderful it is to see this significant landmark restored and in use.”

The 33rd Annual Environmental Excellence Awards were presented Saturday at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. Arizona Forward’s membership is diverse and includes Arizona’s most prominent large corporations and small businesses, municipalities and other government agencies, educators, nonprofits, and a host of concerned citizens. A professional panel of judges identified a maximum of two Awards of Merit and one coveted First-Place Crescordia winner in each category.

Arizona Forward’s members focus on a balance between environmental quality and economic vitality, helping to ensure that decisions about how residents will live tomorrow are made with foresight and imagination today. The courthouse was built in 1891 and is a remarkable example of the American-Victorian style of 19th-century construction technology on the Southwestern frontier. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered one of Arizona’s most irreplaceable historic properties. It is believed to be Arizona’s oldest government building in use today.

To rehabilitate it to serve as a modern office building for the Pinal County Board of Supervisors was no small task. Extensive planning and creative design were paramount to the sensitive integration of sustainable materials and high efficiency mechanical, plumbing, electrical and life-safety systems. Some of the key environmentally-friendly features include reused and recycled bricks, flooring, doors and windows; retrofitted original window frames with insulated low-emissivity glass; filtered roller shades to maximize daylight; strategically placed trees to maximize natural ventilation; low-water-use plumbing fixtures; and high-efficiency water heaters and lighting features, as well as a programmable lighting system. The 1891 courthouse is a physical reminder of the early development and maturation of Pinal County and is a symbol of pride to county residents and Florence. The courthouse attracts thousands of visitors each year, significantly benefiting local businesses.

Governor Jan Brewer awarded the renovation of the Historic 1891 Courthouse the grand prize at the Governor’s 2013 Historic Preservation Conference in June. Brewer and the Arizona Historic Advisory Commission had selected the courthouse renovation as a Centennial Legacy Project to celebrate Arizona’s statehood centennial in 2012.

Pinal County has compiled extensive documentation on the courthouse project and the history and lore of the building. To find out more about one of Arizona’s most distinctive historic public buildings, visit http://goo.gl/b9PRX.

Cottonwood council supports AZ League Resolution to reinstate Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund

[Source: Jon Hutchinson, Verde Independent] – Five members of the Cottonwood City Council are attending the annual conference of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns this week. The annual meeting is in OroValley at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort. The gathering brings together most of Arizona‘s 80-plus cities and towns.

Cottonwood City Manager Doug Bartosh said meetings such as this allow council members to see and learn what other municipalities are doing and to share what Cottonwood is doing, especially when faced with similar issues. They network, return energized, and bring back ideas for Cottonwood, said Bartosh.

The expenses cost the city just over $4,500 for the five council members including food, lodging and the $290 registration fee per person. Ruben Jauregui and Vice Mayor Karen Pfeifer did not attend. Mayor Joens and Jesse Dowling drove city cars. Others were compensated for driving their personal vehicles. There was no car-pooling.

Mayor Diane Joens left early for the conference since she is a member of the Legislative Resolutions Sub-Committee that met early Tuesday afternoon.

Cottonwood Economic Development Coordinator Casey Rooney was scheduled to make a presentation at the conference.

Among the many issues facing conferees are presentations on the Affordable Health Care Act, Wildfire Management, Bridging the Digital Disconnect, Civil Discourse and Conflict Resolution, Destination Marketing and Branding among many others issues.

Resolutions supported by Cottonwood and the Verde Valley

• Ensure the viability of Arizona State Parks and restore the Arizona State Park Heritage Fund, including to allow municipalities to enter into long-term leases of State Parks.

• Allow the final list in a procurement process until a contract for construction is entered into.

Sedona is sponsoring legislations to:

• Restrict trucks in urban areas to the two right-most lanes

• Legislation to restore the Highway User Revenue Fund distribution to cities and towns and to prevent any future sweeps of HURF funds.