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Grand Canyon Trust, 16 Others Win Environmental Awards

By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Grand Canyon Trust Volunteer Program was best of show, and 16 other winners walked away with Valley Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards for 2013. The Arizona Forward-SRP award partnership recognizes projects environmental contributions and sustainability. Another 33 projects won awards of merit.

More than 110 entries were reviewed for the awards, with the Grand Canyon Trust Volunteer Program receiving the coveted President’s Award for its stewardship efforts. The program embraces more than 3,000 individuals volunteering over 18,000 hours a year to science-based conservation projects. The program also won a first-place Crescordia Award in the Environmental Stewardship—Northern Arizona category.

Only three projects received awards in multiple categories this year. One was the DARTS building, originally constructed in 1969 and completely renovated by Gabor Lorant Architects with modern enhancements and sustainable features. The building itself won a first-place Crescordia award in the Buildings and Structures – Commercial & Mixed Use category and the updated landscaping features received an Award of Merit in the Site Development and Landscape – Private Sector category.

Double honors also went to Gordon Estates, a subdivision by Mandalay Homes constructed through Phoenix’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This vacant, foreclosed subdivision in south Phoenix was completely renovated to erase neighborhood blight and is now the most highly rated and certified green subdivision in the country. Its affordable homes boast an average estimated electric bill of $50 per month. The Phoenix program won a first-place in the Livable Communities – Sustainable Communities category and the subdivision earned an Award of Merit in Buildings and Structures – Residential.

PHX Sky Train also won multiple awards, a Crescordia in Livable Communities – Multi Modal Transportation & Connectivity for its stature as the only LEED Gold certified transit campus in the world and merit recognition for Art in Public Places.


List of 2013 Crescordia Winners


Grand Canyon Trust Volunteer Program, Submitted by: Grand Canyon Trust



Residential: Encore on Farmer, Okland Construction

Civic: Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, Fucello Architects

Historic Preservation: 1891 Pinal County Courthouse, Pinal County

Commercial & Mixed Use: DARTS, Gabor Lorant Architects Inc.

Institutional: Fireside Elementary School, DLR Group



Sustainable Communities: Stabilizing Phoenix Neighborhoods, City of Phoenix

Multimodal Transportation & Connectivity: PHX Sky Train, City of Phoenix



Parks: Westwing Neighborhood Park, EPG



Nodal Water Garden, Scottsdale Public Art


The Nodal Water Garden in Scottsdale won the award for Art in Public Spaces. It was Designed by Artist Jeff Zischke. Photo Credit: Public Art Archive

The Nodal Water Garden in Scottsdale won the award for Art in Public Spaces.
It was Designed by Artist Jeff Zischke. Photo Credit: Public Art Archive



Public Sector: DVL UAV Rainwater Harvesting, Desert View Landscape, LLC

Private Sector: PepsiCo Tolleson Sustainability Program. PepsiCo



Public Sector: Solar Demonstration Project, City of Avondale

Educators, Students & Nonprofits: River Pathways, Audubon Arizona


Central Arizona: Wilderness Stewardship Program, Arizona Wilderness Coalition

Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon Trust Volunteer Program, Grand Canyon Trust

Southern Arizona: University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, Tucson Electric Power


For a complete list of winners, click here.