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City honors Huffman as Sustainability Hero

Hendersonville City Council members, his supervisors and coworkers responded with a standing ovation when Stormwater Division Manager Mike Huffman was honored as the city’s first-ever Hendersonville Sustainability Hero last week.

The Environmental Sustainability Board chose Huffman for the award after calling for nominations earlier this year. The award recognizes a city employee who champions sustainability practices in Hendersonville and the surrounding community.

“This year’s recipient has exemplified all the qualities and characteristics of a Sustainability Hero,” ESB Board Chair Kelly Pahle said during the council meeting. “Tonight we would like to take a second and celebrate this person’s outstanding achievement in leadership, innovation and service to the community as it relates to helping preserve our community for future generations.”
Highlighting achievements that led to his selection, Pahle said Huffman had:
• Applied for and received millions of dollars in grant funds to implement water quality improvement projects.
• Organized and led many stream and floodplain restoration projects within the community.
• Advocated for the incorporation of stormwater features in many of the city’s recent development projects including the new police headquarters, parking deck and the new fire station construction.
• Developed the city’s stormwater program to be a leader in the industry.
• Made the city system one of the few programs in the state to be found fully compliant with municipal storm sewer system audits.
• Implemented the city’s rain barrel program, storm drain marking and stream clean-ups.
• Initiated the Trash Trout Program, which has removed more than 10,000 pounds of trash from local waterways.
• Led public education and outreach efforts including a “stormwater stroll” to educate the community on stormwater treatment practices and working with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts on a rain garden installation at a local elementary school and water quality murals on rainwater cisterns in Patton Park.