STAFF & WIRE REPORTS
At the 25th Annual Florida Brownfields Conference in Sarasota, the Florida Brownfields Association recognized excellence in brownfields redevelopment and environmental justice with three awards.
The Sunrise Award: This award aims to promote, recognize, and celebrate innovative and impactful brownfields redevelopment projects in the state of Florida. Awardees leverage the power of multi-stakeholder partnerships to bring about positive change where redevelopment efforts serve as catalysts for social equity, economic growth, and environmental protection. This year, the award recognizes Mosaic Development’s project “Gallery 3100” in St. Petersburg, a nearly 2-acre brownfield in an opportunity zone that was transformed into a 122-unit, Class “A” apartment building that includes 17 income-restricted workforce housing units.
The Willa Carson Award: This award recognizes excellence in promoting brownfields-to-healthfields redevelopment. This award is named in honor of Willa Carson, a retired nurse from St. Petersburg, Florida, who helped redevelop a brownfield site into a not-for-profit clinic that provides culturally-sensitive, quality healthcare for uninsured and underserved children and families. Awardees contribute to environmental and community health. This year, the award recognizes Advent Health’s project “Advent Health 24-hour ER” in Port Orange, a 7-acre brownfield that was transformed into an 18,400-square-foot, 24-bed emergency department with medical plaza that generated ABOUT 40 full-time positions.
The Environmental Justice Spirit of Excellence Award for excellence in supporting environmental justice and health equity: This award recognizes an individual, organization, or brownfields redevelopment project that collaborates with communities experiencing environmental justice and public health challenges. Awardees demonstrate a strong commitment to equitable community revitalization and to building sustainable partnerships with stakeholders to aid under-served and under-resourced communities in Florida. Donna Gray-Banks, this year’s awardee, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Midtown Community Development Corporation in Daytona Beach and founder and director of the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival, one of the largest book festivals for minority, self-published authors in Florida. Donna served previously as the chair of the FBA’s environmental justice and public health committee, transforming the committee’s reach across the state, and creating a lasting legacy of positive change in many communities.
To learn more about the Florida Brownfields Association and how you can become involved in brownfields redevelopment and environmental justice, visit floridabrownfields.com.●