Valley Partnership has announced its 2014 Community Project has been selected as a finalist for Arizona Forward’s 35th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards. Last year’s project recipient was Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped (AFH). The project is a finalist in the Site Development (Private Sector) category.

AFH is a human services organization whose primary mission is to provide quality, individualized services to those with physical or intellectual challenges in the least restrictive environment. It offers programs for adults with physical or intellectual challenges such as Down syndrome, autism of severe epilepsy.

AFH 2“We nominated the Valley Partnership Community Project for the Arizona Forward award because of the impact that their work has on the community,” said Robyn Ratcliff, center director at AFH. “Collaboration is the key to making long-term change, and Valley Partnership embraces that concept beautifully. The detail that was embraced for not only the people whom we serve, but also the neighborhood, made this project a perfect candidate for this award.”

The scope of work from last year’s Community Project included constructing a built-in grill, seating for outside dining, the re-purposing of a sports court, exterior musical instruments, and a sensory garden. The event was held Nov. 15, 2014. Valley Partnership’s member companies and their employees collaborated to add amenities and upgrade the exterior for the use of AFH’s clients, friends and families. After the initial community project day, finishing touches were made by professional contractors, such as sculptures fabricated and donated by Trademark Visual that were erected at AFH.

AFH 3“Our primary objective for the 2014 Community Project was to enhance the quality of life for the clients AFH serves by adding a serenity garden that incorporated therapeutic elements into four experiences – education, music, recreation and culinary arts,” said Dena Jones of Fidelity National Title, co-chair in 2014. “More than 200 volunteers from 130-plus companies traded in their traditional business attire for work clothes and garden gloves. The committee enlisted support from more than 55 corporate sponsors and together, brought the vision to life.”

Arizona Forward is an advocate for a balance between economic development and environmental quality. The non-profit and brings together business, community and civic leaders for thoughtful public dialogue on critical sustainability issues. This is the organization’s 35th year hosting the Environmental Excellence Awards and the 14th year they have partnered with SRP on the event.

Considered the “Academy Awards” of the Arizona environmental community, the event is the state’s oldest and most prominent competition of its kind. It spotlights distinguished projects throughout the state of Arizona that demonstrate a high level of environmental commitment and contribute to the state’s overall sustainability. The program has grown significantly over the years and now encompasses eight broad categories, including:

  • Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future
  • Buildings and Structures
  • Healthy Communities
  • Site Development
  • Art in Public Places
  • Energy and Technology Innovation
  • Environmental Education/Communication
  • SRP Award for Environmental Stewardship

The 35th Annual Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards gala is scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 12. The event will be held at the Chateau Luxe located at 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive in Phoenix.