City of Dunwoody honors Sustainability Heroes

Michael Cowan and Blooms of Dunwoody are being recognized for their dedication, service, and leadership in sustainable practices.


Dunwoody, GA – April 27, 2023 – The City of Dunwoody is pleased to recognize Michael Cowan and Blooms of Dunwoody as recipients of the 2022 Sustainability Hero Awards. Initiated in 2012, the Sustainability Hero Award program celebrates exemplary individuals and organizations to recognize their dedication, service, and leadership in sustainable practices. Nominations for the awards were open to the community; the winners were selected by members of the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee and honored during Monday night’s City Council meeting.


“This year’s awards mark a milestone since the Sustainability Hero program started 10 years ago,” said Nathan Sparks, chair of Dunwoody’s Sustainability Committee. “We hope the winners’ commitment to our natural world will inspire others to start our own sustainable practices.”


Michael Cowan was selected as the individual recipient of the Sustainability Hero Award for modeling sustainable behavior in his personal and professional life. As a former member and chair of the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee, Cowan helped overhaul the City’s Sustainability Plan, initiated Dunwoody’s efforts to become a Bee City USA, and established a partnership with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper to monitor water quality for the Dunwoody watershed. He’s also deeply involved with Scouts BSA, promoting “leave no trace” and teaching merit badge classes on sustainability and forestry. A partner with ReForest ATL, Cowan works to support native landscape restoration by removing ecologically harmful invasive vegetation and replanting beneficial native ones that help restore balanced ecosystems.


“I was very happy to play a small part in helping Dunwoody recognize the importance of environmental sustainability over the last decade. More can and always should be done,” Cowan said. “You can’t do everything, but we should never lose sight of the fact that we can all do something, and those little somethings add up. Caring for creation is a duty that we all should consider a sacred obligation.”


Blooms of Dunwoody was selected as the business recipient of the Sustainability Hero Award for its commitment to sustainable practices, including recycling and composting. Through its vase recycling program, Blooms encourages the return of glass vases by giving future credit to customers. In addition, Blooms has eliminated almost all chemical products, replacing them with clean green alternatives. Unusable flower and plant matter is composted.


“My dream is that every business and every individual will join me in this journey of transforming our world, for our own benefit, because we are not saving the planet, the planet is saving us,” said Kara Shaw, Blooms of Dunwoody President. “Each and every one of us has more power than we will ever know with our purchasing dollars and the choices we make every minute of every day. We must re-learn to have respect and reverence for nature and consider it with every breath, every action.”   


The City of Dunwoody Sustainability Committee meets monthly and serves to encourage the city and the community to reduce its environmental impact by improving resource efficiency. Public education and outreach on sustainability are central to this mission.