A Calhoun-based textile business, a Piedmont, Alabama land protection organization, Boys and Girls Clubs in Dalton and Rome, the Chatsworth Water Works Commission and Forsyth County will be recognized April 6 with the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s (CRBI) Greenie Awards for their outstanding efforts to protect natural resources in the upper Coosa River basin.


The awards ceremony will take place nest Thursday during CRBI’s 3rd annual Green Gala to be held at Hightower Falls, a special events venue in Polk County situated next to a historic 80-foot, spring-fed cascading waterfall on Euharlee Creek, a tributary of the Etowah River. Tickets for the event are still available at www.coosa.org.


Each year CRBI recognizes outstanding achievement in water conservation, outdoor recreation, sustainability, land protection and innovation. Winners must do business in or reside in the upper Coosa River basin and their efforts must have a direct impact on the Coosa and/or the rivers and streams feeding it.


This year’s Water Conservation Greenie will go to Boys and Girls Clubs in Dalton and Rome. The clubs implemented water conservation measures that reduced water use at club facilities by more than 70 percent, saving hundreds of dollars annually on water bills while setting an example for the youth they service.


Forsyth County Parks and Recreation will be recognized with the Outdoor Recreation Greenie.  In 2008, Forsyth County voters approved a $100 million bond to develop more parks in the county. Among those now under construction is Eagle’s Beak Park that will become a key link in the 163-mile-long Etowah River Water Trail.


CRBI’s Sustainability Greenie will go to the Chatsworth Water Works Commission (CWWC). CWWC converted a vacant lot near their wastewater treatment plant into a one-megawatt solar farm that now powers the wastewater treatment plant and the CWWC’s main office.


The Georgia-Alabama Land Trust will be awarded the Land Protection Greenie. The Trust has worked with property owners throughout the region for years, assisting with the creation of conservation easements that have resulted in the permanent protection of more than 350,000 acres of land, including tens of thousands of acres within the upper Coosa River basin. The Trust also played a key role in helping preserve the City of Rome’s Burwell Creek property, once slated for development into a regional shopping center.


Paragon Wool Products in Calhoun will receive the Innovation Greenie. Makers of wool home insulation and other wool products, this upstart company sells high-end wool home insulation that is more efficient than traditional fiberglass and blow-in products while also being longer lasting, biodegradable, renewable and non-toxic.


The Green Gala will feature a reception, silent and live auction, dinner and awards ceremony. It serves as a CRBI fundraiser with all proceeds going to river protection programs. Tickets to the event are $150 each or $1000 for a table of eight and are available at http://www.coosa.org/events/green-gala


The upper Coosa River basin includes the Georgia counties of Lumpkin, Dawson, Fannin, Pickens, Gilmer, Cherokee, Forsyth, Fulton, Cobb, Paulding, Polk, Bartow, Floyd, Chattooga, Walker, Whitfield and Murray as well as Cherokee County in Alabama.


CRBI is a 501c3 organization with the mission of informing and empowering citizens to preserve, protect and restore North America’s most biologically unique river system.