2019 Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner
The City of Newport News has been selected as a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for the year 2019 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The VEEP partnership is intended to encourage superior environmental performance from its partners, working with organizations and businesses in Virginia that go above and beyond legal requirements for environmental processes. The sustainability partnership works with organizations such as local governments and universities to make environmental sustainability part of their cultures through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement.
The City of Newport News earned this recognition for an array of initiatives that took place in 2019, including:
- A partnership between the city and the Newport News Public Library (NNPL) to provide supplies to clean up litter in the city. Grant funds were provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to create litter kits for loan. These litter kits include litter grabbers, safety vests, trash bags, and latex-free gloves for up to five participants, and are able to be checked out from Grissom Library for one week at a time.
- The Mariner’s Museum and Park partnered with the City of Newport News and the Newport News Master Gardeners to offer five rain barrel making workshops. Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater that can be used for tasks to help lower water bills through watering gardens, trees, washing cars, and more. Attendees at the workshops learned how to build, install, and maintain a rain barrel, and took one home.
- Volunteers from The Missions Continues, Serve the City, and the CaTalyst Effect joined together to create and install a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) Community Garden in the Southeast Community. This garden provides a unique opportunity for residents of the city to become involved with and help maintain the garden and enjoy locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Newport News Public Schools Awarded One Community Transformation Grant
The Newport News Education Foundation was awarded a $300,000 One Community Transformation Grant by Newport News Shipbuilding to support STEM education in Newport News Public Schools (NNPS). This grant will provide technology training, materials, and equipment for 400 teachers across the city, and will also provide field experiences for 6,000 students at the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center. The main highlights of the center are to teach skills and technology utilization through hands-on and project-based learning to students interested in learning about digital technologies used in design and fabrication.
Newport News Waterworks Receives National Sustainability Award
Newport News Waterworks was honored to receive the Sustainable Water Utility Management Award from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) at the organization’s annual conference in October 2019. Winners of this award have achieved innovation and success through a balance of economic, social, and environmental endeavors, such as responsible management of resources, protection of public health, providing cost effective services to ratepayers, and meeting responsibilities to the community. “AMWA awards spotlight the exceptional advances of public drinking water utilities that lead the nation toward sustainability through innovative management practices, executive leadership, and employee commitment,” said AMWA President Steve Schneider. “Communities that rely on AMWA’s 2019 award-winning utilities for safe, clean drinking water can also take pride in their outstanding utility management performance.” AMWA’s commendation noted that: “Newport News Waterworks has owned significant portions of its watersheds since its founding in 1889. This ownership, supplemented with regulatory controls, structural improvements, inspections, water quality monitoring, and forest management, provides robust source water protection. Waterworks has adopted a solid and cohesive asset management program framework using mobile devices for asset condition assessment, procuring best-in-class asset management software, and prioritizing risk-based capital planning. The utility’s sustainability mission rests on providing high-quality drinking water, preserving grandfathered water rights and watershed sovereignty, embracing new technology, capitalizing on data-rich analytics, supporting a talented workforce, and providing strong executive transformational leadership.”
Newport News Public Schools Receive Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant from Dominion Power
In 2019, the Newport News Public Schools received an Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant for $5,000 from Dominion Energy to create a new environmental science course. The goal of this grant is to provide funding to purchase kayaks, life vests, and paddles for students to participate in a watershed education experience at Lake Maury. Additionally, this grant will also be used to obtain teacher certifications from the American Canoeing Association.