The City of Alexandria, the Alexandria Renew Enterprises, and the Environmental Policy Commission announce the City's first annual Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award recipients are Alexandria Old Town residents Elizabeth Chimento and Poul Hertel. This award formally recognizes outstanding residents, groups, and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to protecting the natural environment and promoting environmental sustainability. The award will be presented during Alexandria Earth Day, Saturday, April 25, in Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Dr, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The award presentation will take place approximately at noon. Award recipients will have a tree planted in their honor at the event.
The Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award, part of the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, is named in honor of Mrs. Frances Ellen Pickering, a longtime City activist, and her lifelong dedication to preservation and conservation throughout the City. Mrs. Pickering first helped to create the Mount Vernon Trail between Alexandria and Washington D.C., and was deeply committed to preserving and enhancing the City’s waterfront. She urged the adoption of the City’s Open Space Plan, lobbied to preserve Founder’s Park and protect it from high-rise development, and implemented the planting of 1,000 citizen-donated cherry trees during her tenure as chair of the Alexandria Beautification Commission.
Award winners Elizabeth Chimento and Poul Hertel are both longtime environmental activists. They have been particularly influential about improving air quality throughout the City. Their lobbying efforts ensure proper emission regulations, which continue to improve and protect Alexandria’s environment.