Disneyland Resort Celebrates 2020 and 2022 Environmental Champion and Team of the Year

To mark Earth Day last month, the Disneyland Resort named its Environmental Champion and Team of the Year for 2022, as well as finally honoring the winners from 2020.

From Disney Parks Blog:

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the Disneyland Resort Environmental Integration team hosted a celebration to reveal the nominees for the 2022 Environmental Champion and Team of the Year, a peer recognition program designed to highlight individuals and teams making environmentally-friendly changes in their work areas. Additionally, the 2020 winners were invited to this year’s event since we were not able to recognize them in person due to the resort’s closure. Each team was awarded $2,500 to donate towards their chosen charity.

2022 Environmental Champion of the Year:

Rhonda Wood, Horticulture & Resort Enhancement

The Disneyland Resort has a diverse display of foliage with approximately 16,000 living trees gracing the land. When a tree dies, there are a few options to repurpose the extracted plant. They can either be sent to a third party to be turned into mulch or sent to a landfill.

One cast member, Rhonda Wood, had a vision to preserve the sentiments our cast members and guests have with the trees at the resort.

“I’ve been here for 25 years, I started off as a gardener and a climber pruning trees, and getting rid of trees never gets easy,” Rhonda said. Over the past few years, Rhonda established a new program to rescue urban lumber from the resort that approached the end of its life.

“These are living elements that have been in the park for generations, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to create a program that can give those trees a new path,” she adds.

For Rhonda, retired resort trees deserve to live on as ambassadors to our brand’s commitment to be stewards of the land. She has preserved several of these trees that guests and cast members can see at various locations throughout the resort.

At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, guests are greeted at Tenaya Stone Spa with a front desk made from lumber rescued from the Disneyland Resort by Rhonda and her team. Rhonda also led the effort to repurpose a cedar tree planted by Disneyland Resort Horticulture legend, Bill Evans, and the tree now serves as a desk for Tony Castillo, vice president of Facilities and Operation. Rhonda also participated in the Environmental Art Challenge with her team and submitted the art piece titled, “Gone but not Forgotten,” which used the stump of an olive tree (removed from Disneyland Hotel) as a base of a table.

2022 Environmental Team of the Year:

On stage Food Recovery: Galactic Grill & Walt Disney Imagineering

Reducing food waste is a huge point of focus in the environmental goals of the Disneyland Resort to help us achieve zero waste by 2030. Last year, ers from Walt Disney Imagineering and the Operations cast members from Galactic Grill introduced the first set of trash cans with Imagine a separate food waste bin intended to help encourage guests to participate in food waste recovery during their visit.

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