Environmental Stewardship Award Guidelines


2014 Environmental Stewardship Awards Program

“Honoring Extraordinary Achievements by Ordinary People”




The Lake Superior Binational Program initiated this basin-wide awards program to honor the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups that are protecting or restoring the natural environment of the Lake Superior basin. The award pays tribute to these individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through leadership in five categories.

By sponsoring the awards, the Lake Superior Binational Program hopes to encourage residents in the basin to implement similar successful actions to improve water quality and natural environments.


  1. Youth or youth-related group or school for ages 12 to 18
  2. An Individual Adult
  3. Business
  4. Industry
  5. Community Group
  6. Governmental Agency or First Nation/Tribe


Eligibility and Criteria

Applicants can be self-nominated, or nominations may be made on someone else’s behalf.

Finalists in each category from the US and Canada will be selected using the following criteria or guidelines:

  1. The achievement should have had a positive impact by helping protect or restore the natural environment in the Lake Superior basin (the basin extends about 50 miles inland from the lake’s shoreline in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario, and includes any island community). Preference will be given to those activities that show measurable and beneficial environmental impacts as a result of their implementation.
  2. Protect is defined as “minimize negative environmental impacts.” Restore is defined as “return an element of the natural environment to a more natural condition.”
  3. Nominations should describe activities or initiatives that were completed mainly between January 1, and December 31.  Describe how the activity or initiative benefited the natural or human environment.
  4. The project should encourage stewardship behaviors or actions. Strong preference will be given to projects that have achieved positive change through action that went above and beyond required operations (for example, the actions are not the minimum required by law, ordinance, or statute; not completed by paid staff as required in a job description, etc.)
  5. Demonstrate successful partnerships with other community or business stakeholders where possible.
  6. Be reproducible, where possible, so that others in the Lake Superior basin can also implement the activity.


Youth Ages 12 to 18 Years Old Criteria

  1. The nomination may be for an individual student, school group or club, community youth group, or for a school-wide activity.
  2. The nomination should demonstrate excellence in such areas as:
  • An individual or group activity that took place in the school or community
  • A one-time event, or an ongoing activity scheduled regularly throughout the school year or during extracurricular activities
  • Activities that supplemented an established educational curriculum
  • Environmental action program.

Example: A school ecology club sells recycled paper gift wrap to the community. Proceeds are used to plant a small native garden on school property.


Individual Adult Criteria

  1. Most of the planning and implementation of the project should have been done by an individual, with some collaboration with others to complete the project.
  2. The individual should not be directly affiliated with the Lake Superior Binational Program.

Example: An individual organizes a water quality monitoring project with staff at her county’s land conservation department and a local bait shop.


Business and Industry Criteria

  1. Successful nominations should go beyond regulatory requirements at state, provincial, federal, or tribal levels.
  2. Businesses and industries of all sizes are eligible.
  3. Business or industry nominees should document measurable improvements to the environment as a result of the action taken.
  4. The business or industry should not have a representative on the Lake Superior Binational Program or Forum.

Example: An industry commits to reducing its mercury emissions by 50 percent over the next five years.


Community Group, Municipality, or First Nation/Tribe Criteria

  1. Nominees in this category should be involved with meeting the public needs or interests of a community, including volunteer activities conducted by area groups on behalf of the community or tribe.

Example: A small city organizes a community-wide collection of hazardous materials.


Submission Information

  1. Please email a completed nomination form to the U.S. coordinator at binationalforum@northland.edu.
  2. Please mail any supporting materials to:
    Lake Superior Binational Forum
    Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College
    1411 Ellis Avenue, Ashland, WI 54806


Judging Process

  • Judges include members of the Lake Superior Binational Program who represent the US, Canada, and First Nations/Tribes.
  • Winners will be contacted in June.  All winners will be promoted throughout the basin using newspapers, radio, and Internet contacts.


Award Presentations

Each winner will receive a commemorative award made by a regional artist and a framed certificate. Winners will be invited to participate in an awards ceremony in their own country to be held on a date and at a location to be determined by the host country.


For More Information
(715) 682-1489   or binationalforum@northland.edu