Congratulations to the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, recipient of a 2015 Green Light Award of Excellence!
The award, given by the local branch of the U.S. Green Building Council, celebrates Knoxville area organizations that demonstrate leadership in advancing sustainability. CAC's staff will receive the award at Thursday evening's Green Light Award Gala at the Square Room downtown.
"We're so committed to sustainability and to making sure low- and moderate-income communities realize the benefits to improving energy efficiency and the environment," says CAC Executive Director Barbara Kelly. "We're thrilled to have the Green Building Council recognize the importance of doing this."
CAC was recognized for its lead role in a number of projects, including the Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM) and Lead Safe & Healthy Homes programs. CAC administers both of these programs in partnership with the City of Knoxville and has helped hundreds of local families make their homes healthier and more energy-efficient.
In addition, CAC organized the local AmeriCorps program in 1994 – making it one of the longest-running and, with about 40 members, largest AmeriCorps programs in the state. AmeriCorps locally is financed through a combination of federal grants, CAC funds and payments from partner agencies, including the City of Knoxville.
CAC also promotes food security and sustainable agriculture through its operation of Beardsley Farm, a non-profit urban community farm at 1719 Reynolds St. (located in the City's Malcolm-Martin Park). Last summer, CAC, the City, the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Thompson Charitable Foundation and other partners broke ground for a 1,200-square-foot education center at Beardsley Farm.
Each year, about five AmeriCorps members staff and manage various City projects, ranging from educating neighborhoods about disaster preparedness, to maintaining greenways, to developing programs to make the city more environmentally aware.
“The CAC impacts the Knoxville community in so many ways,” says Erin Gill, director of the City of Knoxville’s Office of Sustainability, who also serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee Chapter of the USGBC. “They help people and change lives, and this year’s Green Light Award recognizes how CAC’s mission also makes Knoxville a more livable and sustainable community for thousands of families.”
Glenn Richters, with benefield richters, a Knoxville architecture and design company, praises CAC for its programs and services "which have made and continue to make lasting impacts in our community."
"This award celebrates the many ways that CAC leads our city in advancing sustainability principles such as energy efficiency, local food, and environmental stewardship and action," says Richters, who also chairs the USGBC East Tennessee branch and sits on the state board.
Tickets are available for Thursday's 5:30 p.m. Green Light Awards Gala at the Square Room on Market Square ($25 in advance, $30 at the door). To purchase a ticket, please click HERE.