Jay McCleary Sustainability Award

In 2021, the Red Wing Sustainability Commission established the Jay McCleary Sustainability Award to help promote sustainability and environmental stewardship in the community. The award recognizes innovative programs and practices that contribute to the vitality, sustainability, and resilience of the community.

Jay McCleary, the award's namesake and the first recipient of the award, worked for the City of Red Wing for over 34 years and after retirement served as a long-term volunteer for the Red Wing Sustainability Commission. 

Jay was a champion for sustainability and played a pivotal role in having the City install solar electric arrays at the fire station, Waste Campus, Community Development/City Hall, and Public Works facilities. This work, coupled with the City's solar garden subscriptions, has resulted in 120% of the City's total municipal electricity consumption coming from solar since 2019. Jay' s work in implementing Green Steps "best practices" helped position Red Wing at the top level in the Green Steps city sustainability rating program. Jay also helped bring recognition to Red Wing's sustainability efforts by volunteering to travel and speak to other communities, even attending a national conference in Philadelphia to speak about Red Wing's sustainability commitments, in particular, their solar arrays. Jay also participated as a volunteer for the Red Wing Energy Action Team, resulting in the completion of the City's Green Wing Energy Action Plan. The plan helped encourage residents and businesses to engage in conservation programs to lower their overall energy demand. 

Jay passed away in November 2021 and was unable to receive this award in person. His wife, Nancy McCleary, accepted the award on his behalf at the January 10, 2022, City Council meeting.

Mayor Mike Wilson presents Jay McCleary Sustainability Award to Nancy McCleary
Mayor Mike Wilson presents the Jay McCleary Sustainability Award to Nancy McCleary, accepting the award on behalf of award recipient Jay McCleary.

Annual Nominations

Nominations will occur annually for the Jay McCleary Sustainability Award. Nominations for the 2023 award closed April 15, 2023. The award is open to individuals, businesses, and organizations. Residents may nominate their own projects or be nominated by another party.