Jeremy Edwards, Green Space Manager in the Department of Public Works, has been named the 2019 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year, it was announced Wednesday.
The citizen-led Employee Review Board selected 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, 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, Edwards led 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.
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.