Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau have recognized the Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park for its “Pursuit of Excellence.”

That is one of the awards announced as part of the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards.

In a unique environmental partnership, course Superintendent Paul Carter created the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project, a live Web cam that captures the activities of two bald eagles nesting at the golf course. The nest was not successful this year, but that didn’t stop more 57,000 Internet visitors from watching the nesting eagles online. With infrastructure already in place, Carter expects the live eagle cam effort to continue in future years.

Additionally, the Bear Trace has been certified as both an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site. The award nomination said, “Receiving numerous regional, state and national recognitions for its exemplary stewardship, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay continues to balance the needs of golfers with the needs of the wildlife that call Harrison Bay home in an environmentally sustainable manner.”


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was also honored with Pursuit of Excellence Recognition for its 950,000-square-foot Cameron Hill campus, the state’s largest LEED Gold Certified project to date. In 2011, BlueCross completed renovation of the 180,000-square-foot Gateway Building, an existing four-story structure originally built in 1965, again earning LEED Gold.

Highlights include a 198.24-kilowatt solar array and state-of-the-art water control, utilizing natural stormwater filters to remove pollutants. Additionally, BlueCross BlueShield’s enterprise-wide paperless drive, daily recycling efforts, telecommuting program, hybrid shuttle service and use of green cleaning and green pest control services have made a positive impact on the health of the environment and, in turn, the quality of life for Tennesseans.

“From implementing innovative new technology to environmentally friendly building practices to community members simply supporting one another, the honorees demonstrate that Tennessee businesses, local governments, schools and everyday citizens are committed to healthier and more sustainable communities,” Haslam said.

A panel of 36 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 100 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria such as on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.

Click here to view the other 2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award winners.