The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) and Project EverGreen announce Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan as the recipient of the 2018 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year Award.

The award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding communications efforts regarding green space and environmental issues, was presented during the TOCA Annual Conference in Cincinnati. He is the 20th recipient of this award.

Mayor of Detroit since 2014, Duggan announced an investment of $11.7 million to improve 40 neighborhood parks across the city of Detroit in 2016-17. Project EverGreen worked with the city, local businesses and community groups to renovate Pingree Park starting last November.

The city’s parks had been in decline due to budget constraints but as downtown Detroit experienced a renaissance, Duggan’s wanted to make sure the neighborhoods didn’t get left behind. The 40 parks were chosen based on key criteria including those with the highest concentration of children and senior citizens close by.

Accepting the award for the mayor, Bradley Dick, director general services department said, “Parks are the heart and soul of the city. The mayor’s progressive initiative to renovate 40 parks across the city help reduce blight and restore community pride.”

Promoting and communicating the substantial value of establishing a greener, cooler Earth through the creation, renovation and revitalization of managed recreational and athletic green spaces that result in healthier, happier people is at the core of Project EverGreen’s mission.

“Project EverGreen is pleased to recognize Mayor Duggan with this well-deserved honor,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Well-maintained parks are transformational. They serve as community hubs, creating positive neighborhood relationships. Additionally, Pingree Park, along with the 40 other renovated Detroit parks combined, absorbs almost enough carbon to offset an average car traveling 53,438 miles.”

Previous Environmental Communicator Award recipients include:

1999 – Mark Welterlen, former publisher Grounds Maintenance magazine

2000 – Bill Love, W.R. Love Golf Architecture

2001 – Tim Doppel, Atwood Lawn Care

2002 – Doug Fender, former executive director, Turfgrass Producers International

2003 – Allen James, former CEO, RISE

2004 – Rod Dodson, Audubon International

2005 – Jeff Gullickson, Spokane Country Club

2006 – Kevin Trotta, grounds manager/IPM specialist, Cornwall, NY

2007 – Helen Stone, Southwest Trees & Turf magazine

2008 – Allied Golf Associations of Colorado

2009 – Drs. Larry Stowell/Wendy Gelernter, PACE Turf

2010 – Christopher Gray, formerly Marvel Golf Club

2011 – Anthony Williams, formerly Marriott Golf and golf course consultant

2012 – Dr. Frank Rossi, Cornell University

2013 – Phil Fogarty, Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management

2014 – Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee

2015 – Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota
2016 – Dr. Dave Shetlar, The Ohio State University

2017 – Dr. Frank Wong, Bayer Environmental Science

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