U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wins at Fenway

A woman in a blue shirt and and red hat stands bewteen two world series trophies

Today we hear from Public Affairs Specialist Catherine J. Hibbard who attended an environmental awards ceremony at Fenway Park in Boston yesterday with Architect Liz Dawson. Catherine and Liz work at the Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, Massachusetts, where they are founding members of the office’s Green Team.

A big screen behind a green ballfield

ECO awards on the big screen while ground crews bustle for opening day April 8. Play ball! Credit: Catherine J. Hibbard/USFWS

I love working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I love finding ways to be green. And I love the Boston Red Sox.  So when Green Team Leader, Liz Dawson, asked me to go to Fenway Park to accept two ECO awards on behalf of our office, I jumped at the chance.

As we entered the stadium from 20 Yawkey Way and rode the escalator past photographs of Red Sox legends like Ted Williams, I was already having a great day. It was only going to get better.

We went into the EMC Club for the awards breakfast. There before us was a breathtaking view of America’s most beloved ballpark, Green Monster (infamous high left field wall) and all. The EMC Club is directly behind home plate beneath the press boxes.

We scored some great seats facing the field–and then I saw it. At one end of the room was a slide show of the Spotlight Award winners right between the Red Sox 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies. Those trophies were the soaking rain that fell on the parched Red Sox Nation after an agonizing 86-year drought of world championships.

A woman in a blue shirt and and red hat stands bewteen two world series trophies

Harmonic convergence of all that is good: the Service, being green, and baseball. Credit: USFWS

Projected on the screen between the trophies was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emblem. I could hardly contain myself. It was a surreal juxtaposition of things I hold dear. Truly a “why I love America” moment.

I was a little disappointed that of the six people at our table, I was the only one who was beside-myself-giddy-to be at Fenway. “Oh no, this is wasted on them!” I thought, reflecting how several of my colleagues would have given anything to have been in their seats.

A woman holds an award between two presenters

The presenter joked that recipients should run up to accept the award as if they were on the Price is Right, which is exactly what Liz did! Credit: Catherine J. Hibbard/USFWS

But then I found a kindred spirit with keynote speaker Dr. Beverly Scott. Dr. Scott, General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transit authority, is a guru of everything transit. “I am still in awe,” she said “having my picture taken in front of these pennants. My kids are going to say, ‘Mom, WAY COOL!’”

Amen, sister.

Dr. Scott continued by acknowledging the responsibility we must all take in transforming transportation to create a healthier, wealthier, and sustainable future. She said the change takes incremental steps and when she gets tired, she thinks of her grandchildren and asks, “What do we owe to them? What do we owe to them? We owe them a better world, or at least one as good as what we had.”

Amen to that, too.

“Dr. Scott was inspiring and I find myself invigorated!” said Liz. After Liz accepted our award a woman from the Environmental Protection Agency and a man from the National Marine Fisheries Service came to congratulate us as fellow federal family.

Two women wearing Red Sox hats hold a glass award with the Green Monster in the background

Green Team meets Green Monster. Liz humored me by wearing one of the three Red Sox hats I brought to the event (out of 15 I have!) Credit: Kevin Madley/USFWS

It was then that it hit me. So what if the love of the great sport of baseball was lost on some of the recipients? This green crowd was just like the ones that usually fill Fenway. We were all following our passion, pulling together for a great cause, a cause even greater than a baseball trophy (but don’t tell Big Papi *I said that)—making our world a better place to live for future generations.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t take us 86 years to get there.

*Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz

Massachusetts Department of Transportation ECO Awards

The awards support Massachusetts employers who reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decreased drive-alone trips while encouraging employees to travel to work by transit, carpools, bicycling or walking.

We won a Pacesetter Award (the Boston Red Sox did too!) and a Rising Star Spotlight Award. These awards recognize our significant progress in promoting sustainable transportation options through resourceful actions such as employee outreach and education, commuter options and incentives, and innovative concepts and collaborative efforts.

Out of the 130 recipients, only 10 won a prestigious Spotlight award and we were one of them.

Our efforts contribute to the success Massachusetts has had in reducing transportation impacts on the environment: over 42.1 million commuting miles and 19.3million tons of emissions reduced.

How we reduce greenhouse gases from commuting

  • Carpooling: We have 16 premium parking spaces for carpoolers. We produced a zip code map to encourage ride sharing.
  • Biking: Several employees commute to work on our nearby rails to trail bikeway and we promote bike to work week.
  • Telework and flexible schedules allow employees to reduce days they drive to the office.
  • MassRIDES: we’re a member of this statewide travel options program.
  • We promote NURide, a way for green commuters to log in points to receive rewards.

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