‘Wind, Rain, Earth, Sun & Stormwater’

Universal Hovercraft, which will be featured at the Oct. 7 Winnebago County Green Business Awards ceremony, recenty cleaned up an entire island between Blackhawk Park and the Business 20 bridge. This company is on the Rock River Sweep cleanup program year round. Photo provided by Universal Hovercraft

New theme concept for third Annual Winnebago County Green Business Awards

By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher

Get ready to grow. Everyone will want to attend the Third Annual Winnebago County Green Business Awards  from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 7 at the Rockford Park District’s Webbs Norman Center (the old Post Office) 401 S. Main St.

Why? See who’s going “Green” here in Winnebago County, with some neighbors’ efforts presented as well. Here’s an opportunity to enjoy the very unusual that’s becoming  everyday opportunities for citizens and government in Winnebago County. Yes, see the future you can use today.


Learn about Universal Hovercraft, a local company that makes hovercraft that travel over water or land and even fly. With facilities just south of the Morgan Street bridge, they constantly use the Rock River for their test runs, and they are on the Rock River Sweep program all year long. The company recenty cleaned up an entire island between Blackhawk Park and the Business 20 bridge. Very river conscious, they also have a shop and test facilities on the Mississippi River. Check out this amazing Rockford company at www.hovercraft.com. They will have gasoline and electric-powered hovercraft at the awards ceremony.

Look for our small wind generator displays provided by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association and other vendors.


Photo provided by Universal Hovercraft

Hear guest speakers Matt Wieneke and Scott Gear from Second Rain Integrated Rainwater Collection speak about rainwater capture systems for residential and commercial buildings, with built-in irrigation systems. Wieneke is a long-time spelunker/caver in Winnebago County and will speak of the dramatic changes he has seen in the local aquifer, as well as the need for preservation and restoration of local wetlands.

Look for Freedom Field’s display, which has its own wind element and Simply Prairies’ installation of a Green Roof for water and earth.

Earth’s ‘Green Dish’

Another special feature will be the new “Green Dish” competition for local restaurants and farmers. Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen and I relish the opportunity to be the official technical judges and taste testers. If you attend, you can vote for the “Green People’s Choice Award.” The judging criteria for the “Green Dish Award” include but are not restricted to:

1. Organic and/or natural ingredients

2. Sourced from locally-owned grocery stores or CSA farms

3. Free-range raised

4. Hormone and antibiotic free

5. Grown with sustainable energy sources

6. Biodegradable packaging and service dishes

7. Compost fertilized

8. Social justice and fair trade components

Judging will be based on an aggregate point system. All dishes should serve 20 to 30 people. All competitors should include an 8-inch by12-inch sheet denoting their ingredients, process and presentation. If your organization would like to enter the contest, contact Andrew Kellogg at akellogg123@hotmail.com.

Brio and Social restaurants are providing biodegradable cups, plates, utensils and napkins for the public’s use by VerTerra, Aspenware and other sources.

Sun & Stormwater

Local government will present their new sustainable lights and anti-flooding efforts as well.

Christiansen will present the newest developments at Freedom Field and speak about the county’s stormwater management program.

Stormwater Program Manager at City of Rockford Brian Eber will present the latest sustainable installations in the city, the efforts of Rockford’s Green Team, as well as Rock River water quality issues and flood control programs.

Make sure to pick up your nomination forms for any business that is “Going Green,” and remember, no effort is too small for a nomination. Forms are available at our offices at 128 N. Church St. and online at www.winngreenbiz.com. Deadline for nominations is Sept. 25.

Watch the pages of The Rock River Times for a listing of nominees and vendors at this year’s Winnebago County Green Business Awards—Sustainability Is Good Business! See you Oct. 7 at the Rockford Park District’s Webbs Norman Center (the old Post Office), 401 S. Main St., for what’s new in “Wind, Rain, Earth, Sun & Stormwater!”

From the Sept. 22-28, 2010 issue

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