Since 1970, the ceremony has allowed the EPA to honor individuals who have contributed to the environmental health of a specific region in a unique way.
“The people, communities and businesses being recognized today are leaders in helping create a cleaner environment and healthier communities across New England,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England.
Hinrichs, who now heads a horticultural program at the Learning Prep School in Newton, was honored for his dedication to environmental problem-solving and awareness -- specifically for his work "educating urban young adults on the importance of the environment as it relates to everyday life. This educational effort was accomplished through workforce training in horticulture, design and landscape construction and developing hands-on projects which the students implemented and learned from."
While at YouthBuild Boston, Hinrichs played an important part in the EPA's campaigns to promote rain gardens and cut down on storm water pollution. During his time as Landscape Manager, he worked with YBB students to install rain gardens all over the city, and received much attention from a project done in collaboration with YouthBuild Lowell that saw 300 trees planted along the driveway of the EPA's New England Regional Laboratory in North Chelmsford this past fall.
Throughout his career, Hinrichs has used his background in education and passion for sustainability to convey to his students the importance of the environment as it relates to everyday life. Using his experience in design, education, construction, and landscaping, Hinrichs hopes to usher in the next generation of sustainable thinkers, while contributing to an increasingly environmentally-conscious world in the process.