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Celebrating Local Sustainability

Join us as we continue the tradition of Coulee Partners for Sustainability in recognizing and celebrating organizations or individuals who have inspired sustainable action within our community.  2023 marks the 13th year for the Inspiring Sustainability Awards. That means 13 years of recognizing and celebrating organizations and individuals who have inspired sustainable action within our community. How amazing is that?

Read about the 2023 Winners!

Inspiring Sustainability Awards: Programs


2010 CPS Recognition

Tom Thompson - For his contribution to the 2009 Earth Fair.
Jenn & John Parsneau - For

2011 CPS Recognition
Dorothy Lenard and Jai Johnson - For bringing The Natural Step philosophy to the La Crosse city and county. The city and county of La Crosse were the first to adopt resolutions to become Eco-municipalities in Wisconsin thanks to their efforts.

2012 CPS Recognition
Barb & Don Frank  - Recognized for their many years of commitment and service to preserve and protect the land and that surrounds the La Crosse community.
Chris Schneider  - Recognized for his efforts to educate the community about hybrid technology and founder of La Crosse Green Drinks.

2013 CPS Recognition
Guy Wolf  - Recognized in the Midwest as a tireless community organizer, activist, environmentalist and educator.
Hank Koch  - La Crosse County Director of Solid Waste Department that oversaw the first publicly owned solid waste disposal system to join Wisconsin innovative Green Tier program.

2014 CPS Recognition
Lee Rasch - For leadership at Western Technical College
Marilyn Pedretti - For her commitment to a sustainable lifestyle
Vicki Miller - For work on the Earth Fair, CPS, Hillview Urban Ag.


2015 CPS Recognition

Todd Huffman, Garden Coordinator at the Kane Street Community Garden

Kevin Fisk, LaxPrints - Solar powered building and business


2016 CPS Recognition

Chuck Lee - For La Crosse River Marsh Coalition, Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Biodiversity Task Force, CARS – Citizens Acting for Rail Safety

Josh & Mary Larson, owners of Full Circle Supply


2017 CPS Recognition

Alan Stankevitz - - Cordwood building & living a more self-sufficient lifestyle / web site devoted to bird photography and cinematography

CARS – Citizens Acting for Rail Safety - Grassroots organization that works with citizens and public officials to achieve a rail transportation that respects health, safety, and quality-of-life.

Grow La Crosse - For school gardens & summer classes programming development

2018 SI Recognition

YMCA Food Forest

Empire Screen Printing - For their innovation green printing technology with UV light

2019 SI Recognition

Superior Fresh - For an industry leading aquaponics facility that uses state of the art technology and ecologically sound water conservation practices to provide the freshest and most healthy leafy greens and fish year-round.  

Kahya Fox - For her strong involvement in the Renew program, leading the Neighbor’s day event, and this year partnered with the Marsh clean up to expand outreach to volunteers in cleaning up our community. Kahya is a driving force of volunteerism in the La Crosse area.

2020 SI Recognition

La Crosse Distilling Co. - For a significant investment in downtown La Crosse and commitment to locally sourced food for their restaurant and locally sourced supplies for the distillery operation. Not only is their farmer forward approach commendable but they also utilize geothermal energy to produce their “field to glass” spirits. The La Crosse Distilling Company was one of the first to find a way to pivot and step up during the early parts of the Covid-19 pandemic when they refocused production to provide hand item in short supply at the time and donated their product to citizens and over 140 organizations of the La Crosse region.

Jason Gilman - For thinking beyond the present in hopes of creating a better tomorrow for all. Jason worked from paper to inception by planning roads, buildings, neighborhoods and communities all through a lens of sustainability. He guided citizen-led plans for major transportation corridors, increased the amount and quality of affordable housing, improved the city’s floodplain program, championed La Crosse’s neighborhoods and helped to revitalize downtown La Crosse.

2021 SI Recognition

Mike Freybler - for his instrumental work in energy savings dollars and renewable energy efforts for the School District of La Crosse

SOLS: Solar on La Crosse Schools - For their community work in raising funds and awareness around solar energy installation on local schools. SOLS has installed a solar array on Hamilton SOTA Elementary school and works to integrate STEM learning around this renewable energy source.

2022 SI Recognition

Cathy Van Maren - for her years of tireless work across many community organizations such as: Coulee Region Sierra Club, Coulee Progressives, La Crosse Area Transit Advocates, Solar on La Crosse Schools, La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility Board, La Crosse Climate Action Plan Steering Committee and Sustainable La Crosse Commission … (just to name a few).

La Crosse Public Library  - For their ingenuity, persistence and implementation around a wide-range of sustainability programming and services bolster’s our community’s resilience and ability to thrive. Importantly, the Library’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the environmental realm. Their commitment to serving the needs of all people through their creative programming, their provisioning of resources for those in need, and their unflinching work in helping our community explore issues of diversity and inclusion.

2023 SI Recognition

Jessica Schoonover - For her implementation of sustainability initiatives throughout the Shirley M Wright Memorial Library in Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Jessica is also leading the library through the Sustainable Libraries Initiative Certification program - a 2-year program for sustainability in public libraries.

City of La Crosse's Climate Action Plan - For the work and adoption of a Climate Action Plan for the community in January 2023. In alignment with recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, La Crosse’s Climate Action Plan establishes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 50% below 2019 levels by 2030 with a goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. The plan puts forth 41 strategies across 9 sectors, from transportation to housing, from health and safety to waste management, that will help us mitigate our emissions while also build our resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

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