DEEP: 2009 Individual/Civic Group GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2009 Individual / Civic Group

Name of Individual or Civic Group


Description Of Activity

Erik and Ellen Freidenfelds

Lisbon, CT
Implementing clean energy generation projects utilizing fuel cells, solar, geothermal or wind power. Erik and Ellen Freidenfelds have installed a 10-kW solar array at their home in order to utilize solar power for energy generation, greatly reducing their dependancy on the grid.  They will generate approximately 185% of their electricity needs throughout the year with this system, enabling them to send electricity back to the grid for use elsewhere.

Caroline and Victoria Heavens

Woodbury, CT
Implementing habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property and adopting a vacant lot park and community garden or stretch of highway or beach for a year. They set up a set of bluebird boxes to encourage nesting.  They enhanced their backyard by planting native blueberry, elderberry and raspberry bushes. In addition, they planted milkweed and bee balm to attract and nourish butterflies and hummingbirds.  They also adopted a road in their town and have been maintaining it.

Dave Steinmetz

Woodbridge, CT
Donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or environmental entities) and documenting and implementing a facility-wide pollution prevention plan.

Dave Steinmetz has been working on the No Butts About It Litter Campaign since 1996 with the goal to raise awareness and provide solutions for cigarette litter, which is the most prevalent form of litter in the United States.  In the past year, he has cleaned up a few streets and neighborhoods and try to publicize the results to inform the public about the prevalence of cigarette butt litter.  He maintains a website (, which spreads awareness and connects him with people nationally and internationally who are bothered by the problem and want to help find a cure.  

Presently, Dave is trying to get cigarrette litter posters and ashtrays at concert and sporting events.

In 2008, Dave worked with Keeping America Beautiful (KAB) on creating a statewide Cigarette Litter prevention program, which was launched in Connecticut on Earth Day in 2009.  This program will raise awareness of the issue on a statewide basis, hopefully reduce the problems associated with it, and provide a structural model for other states to implement as this becomes a national trend.

As a high school student, Dave knows that most schools have an environmental club or at least a loose affiliation of environmentally-minded students.  However, there is no collective internet site for collaboration and sharing of ideas among the groups.  He developed a concept to create such a site, and with the assistance of KAB, the Youth Environmental Blog was launched in 2008.  He initially opened up the membership to Connecticut high schools and colleges and got enthusiastic responses.  He collected information about contacts, activities, and issues from each group, put them into a designed format, and posted them at

After this initial trial run, Dave realized that there is a need for a blog format that allows for discussion among members.  Accordingly, the site has been moved to Collective X under the name GenerationKAB, and he is currently expanding membership to include Rhode Island schools as well.

Working with KAB, Dave has helped publicize and administers a grant from the American Forest & Paper Association.  The grant provides an opportunity for $500 to schools who are selected to implement a program that increases paper recycling.  He has helped work on the application, which is available to members of the Youth Environmental Blog.

Lynne Warren

Mansfield Center, CT
Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring, or lake, river, or watershed associations. Lynne Warren is a certified Master Gardener volunteer who has spent over 800 volunteer hours over 2.5 years designing, installing and maintaining the Richard Haley Native Plant Wildlife Gardens at DEP's Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center.  She has participated in numerous educational programs for a variety of youth and adult audiences using the gardens as an outdoor classroom.  She led the effort to create a program of collecting native plant seeds, propagating plants, and selling seeds and plants to raise funds for the Center.  In the fall of 2009 Lyme took the lead in planning for and organizing a new "Friends of Goodwin Forest" organization, and currently serves as its president.  In that capacity, she has lead efforts to formally organize the group, organized and staffed a display for Friends Day at the Capitol, designed and printed a membership brochure, helped plan Earth and Trails day events and much more.

Christopher Zurcher

CT Environmental Headlines

New Haven, CT
Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats and donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or environmental entities). Christopher Zurcher is the editor and founder of CT Environmental Headlines which is a blog, website and e-mail service that provides links to the public to current environmental news stories in the state.

BSA Troop 80

Taftville, CT
Improving public access to shore/waterfront/private lands/streams through voluntary projects.
In May 2009, the BSA Troop 80 of Taftville organized and followed through with a cleanup of the environmentally challenged area on the riverbanks of the Quinebaug River between the Greenville Dam fish ladder and the Eighth Street Bridge.  The scouts cleared four paths for local recreational fishermen to use as new places to fish.  A crew of twelve scouts and six adult volunteers worked for approximately six hours throughout the morning and early afternoon. 

The crew was joined by the Mayor of Norwich, Mr. Lathrop, who helped the scouts for a short time before speaking with them about the environmental issues and how people can make a difference.

Many hours went into planning and coordinating the riverbank cleanup.  Permission from the Public Works Department needed to be obtained with various sites discussed and visited before deciding on this section of the Quinebaug River.  Local businesses were involved by donating many supplies the scouts used, including a port-o-potty, bags, gloves, and buckets. 

CT DEP Remediation Division, Laboratory Quality Assurance & Quality Control Workgroup (QA/QC) Members
Hartford, CT

L. William Averill
Gail Batchelder
Michelle M. Bedson
Glen Breland
Paul Clark
Christina Clemmey
Nora Conlon
Jeffrey Curran
Allison Forrest
Timothy Fusco
Evan Glass
Peter Hill
Kevin W. Miller
Alan Peterson
Richard J. Rago
Rachel Rosen
Lisandro Suarez

Voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

The Laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) Workgroup was formed in 2004 and since then its members have made significant progress towards the improvement of the quality of analytical data used to support remediation projects statewide. The QA/QC workgroup is comprised of licensed environmental professionals, data validators, and representatives from private laboratories, state agencies and the US EPA.

Since its inception, QA/QC workgroup members have successfully achieved the following tasks:

1) Developed enhanced QA/QC procedures for laboratories to provide guidelines for the type of QA/QC documentation that will be expected for analytical laboratory data that is used by environmental professionals. These enhanced QA/QC procedures for analytical methods and reporting are commonly referred to as the Reasonable Confidence Protocols ("RCPs"). Final versions of the 18 most commonly used RCPs were published in August 2006 and February 2007. These final methods address comments received by the public.

2) Developed the final guidance document titled "Laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control Guidance, Reasonable Confidence Protocols, effective November 2007 that provides information regarding laboratory quality control and quality assurance and the RCPs. Training regarding the RCPs has been offered multiple times since 2005. Five RCP training sessions were conducted in 2007.

3) In 2005, two training sessions were conducted for general QA/QC Basics and Enhanced Laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control measures for environmental professionals and laboratories.

4) Developed the guidance document "Laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control, Data Quality Assessment and Data Usability Guidance Document." This guidance is anticipated to be finalized in May 2009.

5) Developed draft RCP methods for volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (VPH) and extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH). These guidance documents are anticipated to be finalized in May 2009.

CT Fund for the Environment

New Haven, CT
Sponsoring a river, beach or neighborhood clean up day. The Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s Save the Sound acted as Connecticut’s coordinator for the 24th international cleanup.

Cub Scout Pack 709

Milford, CT
Sponsoring a river, beach or neighborhood clean up day.

Cub Scout Pack 709 teamed up with Girl Scout Troops 39326 and 30203 and the Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School PTA to plan and host an International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) at Gulf Beach in Milford in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Scouting in America.  Connecticut Fund for the Environment's Save the Sound acted as Connecticut 's coordinator for the 24th International Coastal Cleanup.

On September 19th, 143 volunteers participated in the ICC at Gulf Beach.  Thirty nine data collection cards were completed and the data was entered into the International database for the 2009 ICC.  Approximately 35 trash bags were filled with 150 pounds of trash.  In addition, 3,793 cigarette filters were collected from Gulf Beach which is the number one item of debris removed. 

Employee Volunteers of Covanta, Southeastern Connecticut

Preston, CT
Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year; and implementing habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property. Volunteers from Covanta of Southeastern Connecticut (Covanta SECONN) partnered with the Connecticut Nature Conservancy to improve the habitat for local flora and fauna at the Poquetanuck Cove Preserve located in Ledyard, CT.  On June 18, 2009, 32 man hours were donated to clear invasive plant species from approximately 2 acres.  They also conducted one Adopt-A-Highway work day in May 2009 for the section of Route 12 that leads to and from the facility.

Salem Land Trust

Salem, CT
Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats and opening large tracts of private property for public recreation.

The Salem Land Trust has purchased 72 acres of important open space and watershed land at 180 Rattlesnake Ledge Road in Salem, CT.  The parcel of rough topography lies at the headwaters of the Eightmile River watershed, recently designated as a Wild and Scenic River under the Federal Wild and Scenic River Act.  Little Brook, a tributary of the East Branch of the Eightmile River, drains into the Deep River Reservoir which is part of the City of Norwich water supply.

The Honey Hill Fault line, between two major tectonic plates, runs through this parcel, leaving a fractured area with many geologic features and soil types associated with the geologic history of this region.

This parcel is characterized by diverse natural communities, including wetlands, vernal pools, rocky outcrops and ledges, and several forest types.  A Saw-whet Owl roost, Red-shouldered Hawk and Raven feeding area and Lady's Slipper Orchid are found there.

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on July 27, 2011