Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards

Iowa's environment is in the hands of every community, business, organization, farmer and citizen. Many innovative Iowans are leading the way in the protection and enhancement of our natural resources. Their actions deserve the highest recognition.

Governor Branstad and the State of Iowa invite you to apply for the Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards, designed to recognize leadership and innovation in managing our state's natural resources.

Be Recognized for Your Work in Caring for Iowa's Environment

The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards are the premier environmental honors in Iowa. Result-oriented, sustainable strategies can take many forms, including:

  • Creating new technologies or processes that improve the environment or reduce reliance on natural resources
  • Reducing waste generation
  • Developing energy efficiency or renewable energy technology
  • Creating natural resource protection and enhancement projects, such as watershed protection
  • Establishing educational or prevention programs that result in environmental improvements
  • Creating programs or processes that balance economics with the environment

DNR Contact:
Scott Flagg

Organization Categories:

  • Community/Local Government
  • Small Business and Industry (up to 200 employees)
  • Large Business and Industry (more than 200 employees)
  • Institution/Public Sector Facility or Educator (school, hospital, college, teacher, etc.)
  • Agriculture (operation, farm, or other ag-related business or organization)
  • Service/Civic/Nonprofit Organization (Kiwanis, Lions Club, Pheasants Forever, etc.)

Seven Award Areas for each Organization Category:

  • Environmental Excellence Award
  • Special Recognition award in Water Quality
  • Special Recognition award in Air Quality
  • Special Recognition award in Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy
  • Special Recognition award in Habitat Restoration/Enhancement
  • Special Recognition award in Waste Management
  • Special Recognition award in Environmental Education

Please note! An organization can choose to apply for any or all of the award categories. Each application area will be judged on its own merits and will not be influenced by the number of awards for which an organization applies.

See the Application Instructions Packet for complete details on how to apply.

  1. Complete the Application Cover Sheet.  Include the cover sheet as an attachment with your application(s).
    1. Application Cover Sheet
    2. Application Cover Sheet
  2. For each award applied for, answer the Award Criteria Questions in narrative form (questions for each Award Category begin on page 5 of the Application Instructions Packet).
    1. Overall Environmental Excellence Award: Narrative should not exceed TEN (10) typed pages.
    2. Special Project Awards: Narrative should not exceed FOUR (4) typed pages.
  3. Include any Supporting Materials such as images, charts, newspaper articles, reports, etc. (these are in addition to the Award Criteria Questions and do not count towards the page total). These materials can be inserted with your responses to the Award Criteria Questions, or included as a separate attachment.
  4. Email the Application Cover Sheet, Award Criteria Questions and Supporting Materials to

Note: If you desire to submit your application(s) via mail, please send one copy of the Application Cover Sheet, Award Criteria Questions and Supporting Materials to:

Scott Flagg
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

Applications must be emailed or postmarked by Friday, April 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Awards will be announced and presented summer 2016.

Logic Model Resources (for the Environmental Education Special Project Award):

The vision and actions of staff and volunteers at the Blank Park Zoo extends well beyond the confines of the zoo. With a commitment to sustainability and wildlife conservation, Blank Park Zoo established a number of conservation alliance teams whose actions are felt locally and globally. Zoo staff and volunteers assisted with removal of invasive species from local parks. Removed vegetation was brought back to the zoo and fed to the giraffes and rhinos. Organic waste is diverted to the vermicomposting program where worms consume the material and provide a nutrient rich compost that is used on site replacing chemical fertilizers. Old but wearable boots, uniforms and tools were provided to the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance that cares for orphaned and endangered primates. Recycling opportunities are offered throughout the zoo, energy efficient lighting and motion sensors have been installed, and hazardous chemicals, batteries and ballasts are properly managed. Rain barrels are used to water the gardens and an upgrade was made to the filtration systems in many of the exhibits, ponds and aquariums to reduce fresh water consumption.

Blank Park Zoo Overall Award Application

Gov. Terry E. Branstad

“Iowa has always been one of the most innovative places in the world and the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards are one more way we can acknowledge and celebrate the creativity of the businesses, the organizations and the people of our state.”