Umatilla Ranger District snags third green award

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The third time was the charm for the Umatilla Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service.

In an awards ceremony at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, the district was awarded the grand prize in Sustainable Walla Walla’s Green Travel Challenge for Earth Week 2013.

The annual awards are given to businesses, agencies, schools and organizations in the Walla Walla area with the best green travel programs for employees, students, customers and members.

The programs spur people to look for low-energy ways to get to and from work, school and other places throughout Earth Week. Green travel includes bike, bus, walking, carpool, scooters and other low-energy alternatives to travel.

The Forest Service earned third place in the 2010 competition and second place last year. This year, it had the best rate of green employee travel of any participant at over 30 percent.

The city of Walla Walla was second in percentage of green travel, and also had an excellent green travel incentive program, as did the Washington State Penitentiary and Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

Valley Transit was honored for its ongoing support of the challenge by providing free bus passes to all participants during Earth Week.

For more information on the competition and the benefits of traveling green, visit the Sustainable Walla Walla website at sustainableww.org, or email sustainableww@charter.net.

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