DMPS Presented with Iowa Environmental Excellence Award

School Board chair Rob Barron accepts environmental award.

School Board chair Rob Barron (center) accepts the Iowa Environmental Excellence Award from Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa DNR director Chuck Gipp.

Des Moines Public Schools was presented with an Iowa Environmental Excellence Award by Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. DMPS was recognized for our energy stewardship efforts which have been a wise financial decision as well as an opportunity to educate and prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges. The award was presented for the utilization of geothermal heating and cooling technologies at DMPS, which so far have been installed in 41 of the district’s 71 facilities. With the use of geothermal energy systems, the annual energy costs, on a square foot basis, is well below half of the national average for PK-12 schools and redirects saved monies to help retain and add staff.

Below is the press release from the Iowa DNR noting all of the 2016 award recipients:

Governor Terry E. Branstad recognized 22 Iowa organizations, businesses and communities at the Iowa Environmental Excellence awards ceremony on August 2. The awards are the premier environmental honors in Iowa.

“The vision and initiatives undertaken by the award recipients to benefit Iowa’s citizens both economically and environmentally are recognized and celebrated through these awards. They showcase the commitment being made to make Iowa a better state now and into the future,” said Gov. Branstad.

Iowa Environmental Excellence Award recipients (listed alphabetically by city within each category) include:

Overall Environmental Excellence Award:

  • Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, Des Moines
  • Central Community Schools Global Science Class and the Central Green Team (Jacob Jansen, Tom Shirbroun, Blake Rochleau, Brandon Hach and Ben Whittle), Elkader
  • City of Monona
  • Weikert Iron and Metal Recycling, Muscatine
  • Pure Fishing, Spirit Lake
  • Price Creek Watershed Project, Iowa County Soil and Water Conservation District, Williamsburg
  • Walnut Creek Watershed Coalition, Windsor Heights

Special Recognition in Water Quality:

  • City of Clinton
  • City of Donnellson
  • Price Creek Watershed Project, Iowa County Soil and Water Conservation District, Williamsburg

Special Recognition in Waste Management:

  • Quaker Oats, Cedar Rapids
  • Dee Zee, Inc., Des Moines
  • Metro Waste Authority, Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, Marion
  • Hy-Vee, Inc., West Des Moines

Special Recognition in Air Quality:

  • The Fighting Burrito, Ames

Special Recognition in Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy:

  • Alcoa, Inc. Davenport Works, Davenport
  • Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines
  • Hedquist Productions, Inc. (Vastu Green Building Studio,  Prosper Companies),  Fairfield

Special Recognition in Habitat Restoration:

  • ITC Midwest, Cedar Rapids
  • City of Davenport Public Works
  • Plant.Grow.Fly. at Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Special Recognition in Environmental Education:

  • Water Rocks! Iowa State University, Ames
  • Walnut Creek Watershed Coalition, Windsor Heights

For more information about the Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards, go to