Larimer County's annual Environmental Stewardship Awards recognize individuals and organizations that are good stewards of the environment.

What we recognize

The awards recognize the environmental stewardship activities of individuals, organizations, business, or public agencies that take place within Larimer County. The activities can be simple or complex. Successful nominations are projects that are effective, innovative, creative, provide leadership and sustainability. The nomination form will help guide you through those criteria.

Suggestions for possible nominations include: an individual that shows a commitment to environmental stewardship on their property or in the community, an educator who is dedicated to instilling an environmental ethic in their students, or a business that uses innovative practices to minimize impacts and enhance the environment. A list of the previous stewardship awards is available on the county website.

Submit a nomination

Anyone is eligible to nominate a deserving individual, organization, business, or public agency for an award.

The 2023 nomination period is now open and closes March 26th!  

Online Nomination Form

How the awards are selected

The county's Environmental and Science Advisory Board reviews and evaluates each of the nominations based on four criteria:

  • Educational value of a project
  • Actual environmental benefit
  • Degree of commitment
  • Impact to Larimer County

Then they make recommendations to the County Commissioners who make the final selection. The winners will be recognized by the Commissioners at a regularly televised meeting.


We can be reached by phone at (970) 498-5738, or by email if you have questions about the stewardship awards program.

Last Year's Awardees


Left to Right, Back: Tallon Nighthawk (Northern Colorado Wildlife Center), Mike E. Corbin (Poudre Wilderness Volunteers);  Willie Altenburg (Folsom Grazing Association, President); Commissioner Chair Kristin Stephens; Don Walker (Energy Resource Center, Northern Colorado); Jake Owens, Chris Haun (Folsom Grazing Association Members); Larry Lempka (Lempka Family Farms). 

Left to Right, front:  Northern Colorado Wildlife Center Volunteers; Commissioner John Kefalas; Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally; Director Katie Donahue (Fort Collins Natural Areas); Brenda Haun (Folsom Grazing Association)

We are excited to present Larimer County’s Environmental Stewardship Awards for 2022.  This was the 27th year for these awards!

2022 Environmental Stewardship Awards

Northern Colorado Wildlife Center plays a vital role in our community.  Their mission is to rehabilitate injured wild reptiles and amphibians, as well as all types of wildlife, educate the community on environmental stewardship, and improve local natural areas and open spaces through coordinated tree plantings and litter removal. Prior to their establishment as a rescue, they estimated that ~2000 wild animals were euthanized each year because there were no other options for care and rehabilitation.  But now, under their care, nearly 95% of their patients annually are released back into the wild including many turtles, snakes, lizards, and other wildlife species.

Following the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, 120 miles of Forest Service recreation trails were affected in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest.  Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV), under Mike Corbin’s leadership, started their work in Spring of 2021 and by August most trails were open to the public.  The work consisted of 44 workdays completed by the public, Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, and local businesses, who removed nearly 3000 trees from the trails and improved drainage on 11 miles of trails thereby reducing erosion. Their work ultimately cleared 60 miles of fire impacted trails and allowed the public to get out and enjoy our mountain wilderness.

Folsom Grazing Association (FGA) consists of 7 producer members who have collaborated with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program at the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area to develop and implement a model for conservation grazing. Since 2004, this partnership has enhanced the ecological conditions and environmental services on the unique Mountains to Plains Corridor in Northern Larimer County.  The FGA implements adaptive land management with the goal of promoting rangeland health, wildlife habitat, cultural resources, recreation, and education.  They provide an example of how producers can achieve their production goals while also engaging in land stewardship.

Energy Resource Center (ERC) is a nonprofit that focuses on free home energy efficiency upgrades for low income-qualifying clients. ERC evaluates a resident’s home, conducts an energy audit and provides a means for their customers to replace old appliances and add weatherization improvements to their homes - all at no cost to residents.  They also provide home improvements focused on health and safety (plumbing, wiring, venting, structural).  Since 2018, ERC has served an important role in our community, helping residents in underserved communities save 25% or more on their annual utility bills.  This year they anticipate assisting 70 households in Larimer County.

The Lempka Family Farm, in cooperation with Colorado State University, the Little Thompson Watershed Coalition and the Colorado Dept. of Health and Environment (CDPHE) is implementing a water quality control measure to treat irrigation return flows from their farm.  The “edge of river grass filter strip” reduces soil particulates, nitrogen, phosphorous and e-coli from the farm’s return flows thus treating the water before it re-enters the Little Thompson River. This project is important because it provides an example of how agricultural producers can reduce nutrient pollution, an important goal of Colorado’s Water Quality Regulation 85.