Iowa’s best friends of the planet will soon gain new state recognition through the “Environmental Excellence” Award. Organizers say it’s part of “Iowa Earth Year 2000.”Ross Harrison, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says the awards will honor Iowa businesses, organizations and citizens who show they know how to manage our natural resources.Harrison says there will be several categories, including: Environmental Community of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Youth Organization of the Year and more. He says the winners will get recognition among their peers and be able to influence others to do things environmentally.Applications for the awards program will be made available this summer with the winners to be announced at a reception in December.