News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current


City recognizes Encinitas environmental leaders

Encinitas environmental award recipients meet with members of the City Council and Environmental Commission during a meeting Wednesday, April 17. (Encinitas city photo)

A historic local surf shop, community garden nonprofit, doctor and student were the recipients of Encinitas environmental stewardship awards on Wednesday, April 17.

The awards, presented annually by the city’s Environmental Commission, were presented at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Awards for 2023 went to Hansen Surfboards and the Encinitas Community Garden as local business and nonprofit recipients.

City officials noted Hansen’s affiliation with nonprofit Plastic Beach’s recycling program to encourage responsible recycling of plastic wrap waste.

“In addition, Hansen Surfboards has taken actions to help the City of Encinitas achieve its climate action goals with the installation of solar panels in its parking lot,” the Environmental Commission noted in a city news release. “By incorporating these eco-friendly initiatives into their business, Hansen is an inspiring example for the community, making them a deserving candidate for this award.”

Hansen Surfboards has been a family-run business in Encinitas for more than 60 years.

The Encinitas Community Garden is the 2023 nonprofit winter. The organization, established in 2008, helps member gardeners grow environmentally and sustainably produced food in 120 plots that require the use of organic soils and encourage water conservation through timed irrigation and rainwater collection. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not allowed.

The commission also noted the garden’s collection of surplus produce for distribution through nonprofit Healthy Day Partners.

“The garden also creates a supportive community where neighbors can share tools, skills, and inspiration,” the panel stated in the city’s news release. “As the participating gardeners connect with the land, this not only helps them economically, but they also become hopeful, confident, and healthy. These efforts are a great example of how to be environmentally friendly in Encinitas.”

Individual 2023 Environmental Hero Awards went to Encinitas Rotary Club member Dr. Nancy North, and student and city Youth Commission member Sofia Gonzalez.

North was commended for her leadership in creating a local Rotary sustainability committee, called Econitas. In those efforts, the Rotary Club has organized community tours of the San Elijo Lagoon by the Nature Collective and supported zero-waste events such as the Encinitas Food and Wine Festival, the Heritage Holiday Tree Lighting and EcoFest.

“Dr. North inspired her club with a reusable plastic bag drive which gathered over 200 bags and donated them to the Community Resource Center for their food distribution program,” the city stated in its news release. “Dr. North also spearheaded a second drive for metal water bottles, collecting over 100 bottles for the local non-profit organization Los Angelitos which supports youth soccer. These efforts to promote environmental initiatives in Encinitas make Dr. North deserving of the Adult Hero Award.”

For the youth award, Sofia was commended for her participation during fifth, sixth and seventh grades in the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Internship Program, in which students study water quality and develop solutions to stem polluted runoff.

“As an intern, Ms. Gonzalez presented to the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento about solutions to improve stormwater quality,” the city noted. “In addition, she was an invited speaker at a major water quality conference in Las Vegas on the same topic.”

Sofia also participated in Ocean Knoll Elementary School’s Green Team, which supports sustainability efforts such as water and energy conservation, recycling and composting. She also participates in beach cleanups as a member of the Swamis Surfing Association. On the Youth Commission, Sofia has served on its environmental and zero-waste committees.

“Sofia Gonzalez truly exemplifies what it means to be an environmental hero,” the commission stated in the city’s news release.