Community News

Alexandria Plant Advocates Win 2024 Pickering Award

Scott Knudsen and Jennifer Pease (middle pose with the 2024 Pickering Award. (Photo courtesy City of Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-Yesterday (April 21) the city’s Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) and AlexRenew presented the 2024 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award to Scott Knudsen and Jennifer Pease. Rebecca Hammer, a member of the selection committee and a board member with AlexRenew, gave the duo the award at Gardenfest, hosted by the Del Ray Citizens Association.

Mayor Justin Wilson, members of City Council, Jennifer Debias with the EPC, and Duff Pickering (Ellen Pickering’s relative) also attended the event.

Knudsen and Pease, both ParkFairfax residents, have managed a biannual plant sale for over two decades. The event serves as an opportunity for visitors to learn about sustainable landscaping. According to the a “sustainable landscape is one that conforms to the environment surrounding it, requiring only inputs (e.g., water, fertilizer) that are naturally available, with little or no additional support.”

Sustainable landscaping was not popular when Knidsen and Pease started the native plant sale.  Over time, they have worked to change the thinking of residents and make native plants more available.

The Pickering Award spotlights members of the Alexandria community dedicated to “protecting the environment and preserving local natural resources,” according to an Alexandria eNews bulletin. The late Ellen Pickering was passionate about “[the] preservation of green space” her entire life.

[SEE ALSO: Archaeologists Discover Two 18th Century Glass Bottles at Mount Vernon]

Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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