Stormwater Division Manager Mike Huffman Named Hendersonville Sustainability Hero
Hendersonville’s Environmental Sustainability Board called for nominations earlier this year for the first Hendersonville Sustainability Hero Award. This award celebrates a City employee or team who champions sustainability practices in Hendersonville and the surrounding community.
During City Council’s meeting on April 12, Environmental Sustainability Board Chair Kelly Pahle announced that Stormwater Division Manager Mike Huffman was selected as the first-ever Hendersonville Sustainability Hero.
“This year’s recipient has exemplified all the qualities and characteristics of a Sustainability Hero,” said ESB Board Chair Kelly Pahle. “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.”
Chair Pahle highlighted some of Mike Huffman’s accomplishments that led to his selection as honoree:
- 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.
- Achieved full compliance in the most recent MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) audits, becoming one of the few programs in NC to be found fully compliant.
- Implemented a wide variety of sustainability initiatives including the City’s rain barrel program, storm drain marking, and stream clean-ups.
- Initiated the City’s Trash Trout Program which has removed over 10,000 lbs. of trash from local waterways; it was the first of its kind and based on its success, there are now 35 trash trouts across five states.
- Committed to meaningful public education and outreach that has included creating the City’s “stormwater stroll” as a tool to educate the community on stormwater treatment practices, and volunteering with girl scouts and boy scouts leading to a rain garden installation at a local elementary school and water quality murals on rainwater cisterns in Patton Park.
The presentation of the Sustainability Hero Award to Mike Huffman was met with a standing ovation by City Council, staff, and meeting attendees. Mike thanked the Environmental Sustainability Board for the recognition as well as City Engineer Brent Detwiler, the Engineering team, City Council, and City management for the support that made all the sustainability efforts and projects possible.
To learn more about the Environmental Sustainability Board visit www.hvlnc.gov/esb