Air Quality Stewardship Awards

Web-2017AQSLogojpg copy

Teaching By Example Award: Alamo Heights Independent School District (ISD)

This ISD serves approximately 4,800 Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills, and a small portion of San Antonio children at 6 schools. Highlighted achievements include: promoting “walking school bus” (i.e., groups of children walking to school together), placing solar arrays at each of eight school district buildings, using energy efficient building features, conserving energy, encouraging electronic submission of schoolwork to reduce printing, and using Ozone Action Days as teaching opportunities.

Trailblazer Award: City of Leon Valley

This city received an Air Quality Stewardship Award (AQSA) in 2012 based on its use of hybrid vehicles in its fleet and its many energy-efficient building features, its Tree Challenge efforts to preserve and expand the city’s tree canopy, its El Verde 2020 Initiative to reduce water consumption, its Earthwise Living program to educate and support environmental stewardship and sustainability. Since 2012, the City has taken several more actions that promote cleaner air. Among other accomplishments it now encourages employees to walk/bike to work by providing bike racks, showers, and lockers. It allows work-from-home days for some employees. It requested and worked with VIA to bring Primo bus routes to Leon Valley. The City fleet now includes electric vehicles. It also adopted local enforcement of an Idling Limitation Rule for heavy-duty vehicles. In addition, new construction and renovation of City buildings include energy efficient features, and solar panels are installed at Fire Department, Community Center, and other buildings. The City also has hosted informational presentation and exhibits by AACOG on air pollution issues.

Above and Beyond Award: Patrick Heath Public Library (City of Boerne)

The building that houses Boerne’s Patrick Health Public Library was built in 2011 and achieved LEED Gold Level certification in 2012. Among its many achievements, it has bicycle racks and discount arrangement with nearby fitness center for employees to use shower/changing facilities, it provides six preferred parking spots for low emitting/fuel efficient and high occupancy vehicles. Its LEED Gold-certified building has 17.5% reduction in energy use with such features as reflective roofing, light walls, high-performance HVAC, and exterior sunscreen panels, and 21% of materials used in building were recycled.

Holistic Health Award: Resolute Health Hospital, New Braunfels  

This hospital, which is part of the six-hospital Baptist Health System based in San Antonio, was open to patients in 2014. It was designed for and has since received LEED silver certification. Among other features it has bicycle racks and employee breakrooms include shower/changing facilities. The LEED Silver Certification building is designed to save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in energy costs compared with standard costs, and in the process reduces a significant amount of pollution. In addition, 97.5% of waste materials were recycled (more than 3.5 million pounds) during construction. Further, many employees work flex hours and compressed workweeks, which helps reduce traffic congestion that contributes to air pollution.

Active Transportation Award: YMCA of Greater San Antonio (for Síclovía)

Síclovía is a project that temporarily turns a 5-mile minimum of city streets into safe, car-free space in which residents can be physically active. The event takes place twice a year. During the past 5 years that the YMCA has been organizing the event, it has grown to over 60,000 participants. Síclovía promotes cleaner air by: encouraging the use of transportation alternatives such as carpooling, taking the bus, or biking to the event, creating an atmosphere in which participants may more readily consider biking and walking as transportation choices, partnering with the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department to provide tree adoptions during the event, and partnering with Better Block, an organization that transforms underutilized public spaces into more environmentally efficient spaces that better serve and engage the community.

About the Air Quality Stewardship Awards

The winners of the annual Air Quality Stewardship Awards are selected by AACOG’s Air Improvement Resources (AIR) Executive Committee, comprised of elected officials from local governments in the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area. Their selections are based on recommendations of the AIR Public Education Committee whose members reviewed information provided by nominated organizations within the AACOG region. The members of the AIR Public Education Committee represent local businesses and government agencies that are also committed to environmental stewardship.

The varying sizes, structures, and missions of nominated organizations are taken into consideration in the selection process. Eligible for an Air Quality Stewardship Award is any organization with a physical presence within the 8-county San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area* that is helping to improve air quality in at least one of the following categories:

Commuter Assistance
Examples: Offering programs or incentives that encourage employees to use mass transit and/or carpools and offering alternative (off traffic-peak) work schedules.
Fleet Management
Examples: Utilizing alternative-fuel vehicles and hybrids and establishing idle-reduction policies for delivery trucks/vans.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building
Examples: Using energy-efficient lighting and equipment in offices and using building materials made from recycled products.
Industrial Process Pollution Reduction
Examples: Replacing outdated equipment and retrofitting stacks and furnaces with scrubbers or other control technologies or using low-VOC products in production processes
Examples: Planting native, drought-resistant foliage and establishing policies that ban the use of gas-powered mowers and other landscaping equipment on Air Quality Health Alert days.
Air Quality Education
Examples: Participating in the region’s Air Quality Health Alert program by forwarding alerts to employees with recommendations for measures they can take to reduce pollution on Ozone Action Days.

Nominations for the 2018 Air Quality Stewardship Awards will be accepted from mid-September, 2017 through mid-November 2017. A nomination form will be available through this Webpage during that time. For more information, please contact Annette Prosterman at (210) 362-5213 or

Air Quality Stewardship Awards in Recent Years

2016 – DoSeum, A-AAA Key Mini Storage's Solar Project, CPS Energy's ECHO Project, Joint Base San Antonio's Rideshare and vCommuter Center Project, University Health System's Sky Tower Project, VIA's Centro Plaza Project
2015 – San Antonio Missions National Park, San Antonio College's Eco Centro Project, Zachry and Skyonic Corporations' Skymine Project
2014 – Bexar County, CEMEX Balcones Cement Plant and Aggregate Quarry, Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy
* The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, and Wilson Counties.