Jeremy Edwards, Green Space Manager in the Department of Public Works, has been named the 2019 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year. The citizen-led Employee Review Board selected Mr. Edwards for going above and beyond his job description by being a leader in conservation landscape management, collaborating with volunteers, and providing environmental education. The nomination was written and signed by 26 City residents and business partners.
In 2019, Mr. Edwards recognized savings opportunities with commercial and private development projects. He requested wood chips from the clearing of the Founder’s Row commercial development property and used them for the walking patch in Howard Herman Stream Valley Park, saving the City $6,000. He also collaborated with residents to transplant unwanted native plants and trees from private properties to City parks.
Since becoming Green Space Manager in December 2012, Mr. Edwards leads enthusiastic volunteers of all ages to plant native trees, shrubs, and perennials in the City’s parks, positively impacting wildlife habitat and storm water retention. In 2019, he led a total of 280 volunteers at 12 public events with the City’s Habitat Restoration Team. This small rolling army removed invasive plants and installed over 7,600 native plants in eight of the City’s parks. These volunteers represent over 542 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars of donated labor.
Mr. Edwards engages the community in hands-on learning like advising Girl Scout Gold Star projects, Boy Scout Eagle Scout projects, and wildlife projects initiated by the George Mason High School Environmental Club. His collaborations with Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and Tree Stewards strengthen the development of the local learning community of professional and citizen experts dedicated to public environmental education.
The nomination essay reads, "The tangible results of Mr. Edwards's leadership are evidenced in the beauty and function as wildlife habitat and green infrastructure of the City’s parks and in cost savings to the City. But the intangible results, the process of education that is difficult to put a price tag on, are just as impressive. For community members, his leadership builds morale and shapes their views on the City’s commitment to a more sustainable and resilient environment and encourages them to apply more sustainable and ecological techniques in their own backyards. Community members have come to trust and rely upon Jeremy’s expertise and actively seek him out. City resident Priscilla Guthrie describes the impact that he has for the community:
Jeremy Edwards is an incredible City resource. Over the years, we’ve watched him improve our parks and also increase residents’ appreciation and support for these precious natural assets. One of Falls Church’s young residents -- a 10 year old -- expressed it all when he ran towards a place in Crossman this spring. He was looking down as he ran, then suddenly stopped and started jumping into the air saying, “Here are the plants I planted last year. They are GROWING!” And, indeed they were.
The citizen-based Employee Review Board selects an Employee of the Year each year from nominations submitted by City employees and citizens. The other nominees this year were Dana Lewis (Housing and Human Services), Carly Lumsden (Emergency Communications, Police Department), Kerri Oddenino (CPEDS), and Billette Ripy (Library).
The “Employee of the Year” Award was established in 1987 to grant recognition to a City employee for accomplishments of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in the City of Falls Church General Government.
Accomplishments that are eligible for consideration will vary widely in form and substance due to the many different jobs City Employees perform. They will be evaluated against criteria that examine gains achieved, overall impact of the accomplishment, and the environment in which the achievement took place. The recipient receives a cash award.
Eligibility for the award is open to all permanent full or part-time employees in the City’s personnel system, provided the initial probationary period has been concluded successfully. Appointed Officials, Elected Officials and their employees, and Division Directors are not eligible.
Eligibility for the award is open to all permanent full or part-time employees in the City government’s personnel system, provided the initial probationary period has been concluded successfully. Appointed Officials, Elected Officials and their employees, and Department or Division Directors are not eligible.
Nominations may not be submitted by a member of the immediate family of the nominee or the nominee themselves.
The City Employees Review Board will receive the nominations and the supporting documentation and select the award recipient based on the facts presented. Presentation of the award will be made by the Mayor and Council at the April 27, 2020 Council Meeting in City Hall.
|2019||Jeremy Edwards||Department of Public Works|
|2018||Carly Aubrey||Planning Department|
|2017||Ibby Acosta||Finance Department|
|2016||Joe Dowling||Public Works|
|2015||Missy Elliott||Police Department|
|2014||Megan Graham||Court Services|
|2013||Leslyn Barrow||Housing and Human Services|
|2012||Cary Frostick||Mary Riley Styles Public Library|
|2011||Susan Richter||Housing and Human Services|
|2010||Kathy Allan||Environmental Services|
|2009||Rachel Kindell||Aurora House|
|2008||Ed Lancaster||Police Department|
|2007||Marshall Webster||Mary Riley Styles Public Library|
|2006||Beverly Reich||Human Resources|
|2005||Debralee Woodbury||Recreation and Parks|
|2004||Jill Anne Spence||Planning Department|
|2003||Dan Ellis||Police Department|
|2002||Ali Khan||Environmental Services|
|2000||Butch Goff||Recreation and Parks|
|1999||Linda Weikle||Recreation and Parks|
|1998||Danny Schlitt||Recreation and Parks|
|1997||Robert Goff||Environmental Services|
|1996||Dagmar McGill||Mary Riley Styles Public Library|
|1995||Donna Ahart||Aurora House|
|1994||Debra Gee||Planning Department|
|1993||Bruce Taylor||Police Department|
|1992||Ralph Lewis||Environmental Services|
|1991||Annette Mills||Environmental Services|
|1990||Melodie Baron||Housing and Human Services|
|1989||Sue Spiker||City Attorney's Office|
|1989||Lieutenant Greg King||Police Department|
|1988||Howard Herman||Recreation and Parks|
|1987||Robert Compher||Environmental Services|