Sustainability Awards Program

The Frederick County Sustainability Commission accepts nominations for its  Sustainability Awards each spring/summer.  Award winners are announced each fall at an annual recognition event. (When dates and details are available, that information is included on this page. You can also follow the Division of Energy and Environment's Facebook page to be informed of this information.)

These awards recognize individuals and organizations in Frederick County that have made an outstanding contribution to helping the county advance its climate and environmental goals. Awards are based on demonstrated leadership, innovation, and success in sustainability.

Awards are made in the following categories:

  • Individuals
  • Students / Student Groups,
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Businesses with 50 or more employees,
  • Industrial Operations

Awardees are recognized for demonstrating leadership in environmental stewardship. Actions include but are not limited to things such as: 

  • Adopting energy efficiency practices.
  • Using or promoting renewable energy. 
  • Protecting or improving air and water quality. 
  • Resource conservation.
  • Recycling and composting.
  • Encouraging sustainable actions at work or in the community.
  • And more!
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2023 Award Winners


Kite, A Gilead Company, Frederick T-Cell Factory 5 (Category: Industrial Enterprise) Committed to making transformative cell therapies the right way by continually improving the environmental impact of their activities, preventing pollution, and prioritizing the conservation of resources. Created a Kite Sustainability Network and Local Sustainability Green & Energy Teams, to build a green culture and to advocate for healthy, responsible practices.

Black Ankle Vineyards (Category: Commercial Enterprise, 50 or More EmployeesFrom building construction to production methods, their focus is on making wise use of their farmland's resources. Efforts include construction methods that incorporate repurposed materials, straw bales, and green roofing, installation of solar panels that generate all the operation’s electricity, and using a biodiesel tractor.

House In the Woods Farm (Category: Commercial Enterprise, 50 or Fewer Employees) A certified organic farm, the operation grows diverse crops featuring heritage breeds, drip irrigation, and field rotation methods that contribute to the resilience and sustainability of their Community Supported Agriculture program. The farm also provides opportunities for experiential environmental education programs.

Mobilize Frederick (Category: INonprofit Organization) Seeks to advance economic vitality, equity, and human health by promoting innovative and effective local solutions to the growing climate emergency. Their efforts to partner with local government, nonprofits, and the community support the goals established in the County and the City of Frederick's Climate Emergency Resolutions.

Carey Murphy (Category: Individual Venture) A Master Naturalist and co-founder of Green Team Urbana, a volunteer group committed to increasing biodiversity and restoring the ecological health of heavily developed areas. Carey leads numerous efforts to foster community engagement in environmental issues and is working to develop and support green schools.

Kerri Hesley (Category: Individual Venture) Serves as the lead of the Sierra Club Catoctin Group's Zero Waste Team. Her tireless efforts to educate the community on the hazards of single-use plastics contributed to the City of Frederick enacting legislation to ban businesses from providing plastic bags (effective January 1, 2024). 

Pragna Yalamanchili (Category: Student Venture) Volunteers many hours to help manage the recycling and composting program at Oakdale High School and provides educational presentations for students and staff on the topic of waste reduction. Has communicated with county and state officials to expand these efforts to other schools.

Urbana STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Mindfulness)  (Category: Student Venture) Niranjana Attoor, Aarna Chakarvarty, Rakshita Jayaswal, Mihir Kumar, Aahana Nigam, and Rhea Ramesh are a group of students who support the environment by volunteering year-round to support activities such as tree planting, used battery recycling, litter clean-ups, and community gardening. They donate the organic food grown to those in need. The group also helps promote these efforts to encourage awareness and participation of others.

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