Cities@Work – Success Stories

City of Phoenix Recognized with Nine Environmental Awards

Arizona Forward awarded its prestigious Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future to the City of Phoenix on Saturday for its landmark 2017 agreement with the Gila River Indian Community to preserve endangered Colorado River water in Lake Mead. In all, Phoenix received nine awards at Arizona Forward’s 37th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards, including four Crescordia Awards, the highest honor in each category.

Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the Colorado River Conservation Agreement in June in partnership with the Gila River Indian Community, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Walton Family Foundation. Under the agreement, Phoenix works with the Tribe to preserves 13 billion gallons of its yearly portion of Colorado River water in Lake Mead, which helps preserve water levels in the dangerously over-allocated reservoir.

“To ensure a long-term water supply for our city and state, Phoenix must lead by working with tribes and other communities on creative solutions and smart policies,” Mayor Stanton said. “Arizona Forward’s recognition for this landmark agreement – as well as for our other innovative sustainability efforts at the City – means the world because it shows that Arizonans get it and are committed to climate resilience.”

“Through partnerships, Phoenix has been able to leverage innovative ways to improve our sustainability efforts,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.  “We’re grateful to our many partners, stakeholders and staff who have worked hard to achieve outstanding results.”

“I was thrilled to be present at this wonderful annual event to celebrate all of the hard work and innovation that the city of Phoenix continues to accomplish,” said Phoenix District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark.


Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future:

– Colorado River Conservation Agreement (City of Phoenix Water Services Department)

Healthy Communities (Sustainable Communities):

– Pueblo Viejo Fields and Food Hub (City of Phoenix and a partnership with Quincea-Green on Purpose Alliance)

Healthy Communities (Public Policy/Plans):

– City of Phoenix Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Program (City of Phoenix Office of Environmental Programs, Office of Sustainability)

Site Development (Parks & Trails):

– Desert Hills Trailhead (City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department; J2 Engineering and Environmental Design, LLC)


Healthy Communities (Sustainable Workplaces):

– Phoenix Green Business Leader Program (City of Phoenix Public Works Department)

Site Development (Public Sector):

– 27th Avenue Phoenix Compost Facility (City of Phoenix Public Works Department)

Art in Public Places:

– Bloomcanopy Gimme Shelter Shade for Pierce Street (City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture)

– Passage, Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park Public Art Project (City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture)

Environmental Education & Communication:

– Student Council Sustainability Officers Initiative (City of Phoenix, Office of Sustainability)

Since its inception in 1969 as Valley Forward and expanding statewide in 2013, Arizona Forward has brought business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues in an effort to improve the sustainability of communities in the state.

For more information about Arizona Forward or the awards, call 602-240-2408 or visit