The 2012 Rachel Carson Award recipients, L to R: The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, President of The Regeneration Project / Interfaith Power and Light, L. Hunter Lovins, President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, Audubon President David Yarnold, and Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of New York City Department of Transportation. Photo: Cutty McGill.
Each Spring, I am inspired anew when I attend the Audubon Society’s Women in Conservation luncheon at The Plaza in midtown Manhattan. Which is really important, since as a woman working independently in the environmental field, it’s not always easy to see the impact (long- or short-term) of my actions and work. To be in the same room with hundreds of women making change – and the people who support them – always gives me renewed vigor and focus for the warmer season (when all I want to do is going outside and play!).
This year’s honorees included The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, President of The Regeneration Project / Interfaith Power and Light, L. Hunter Lovins, President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, and Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of New York City Department of Transportation. It was so interesting to hear them speak about their work, from bringing people of faith together for the environment (Bingham), to how we can use economics to make the case for the Planet (Lovins), to how a visionary team can come together in a city as complex and political as NYC and yes – make it a truly greener, healthier place to live (Sadik-Khan).
Look for more coverage of each of these leaders in upcoming Eco Chick features.
I was especially heartened by the “Women Greening the City” recipients, a group of additional women who were honored en masse at the luncheon with a round of applause:
“The distinguished “Women Greening the City” represents the many women who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to transform and green the physical landscape of New York City’s urban habitat.
These individuals have made spectacular contributions to New York City’s greening effort through volunteering, grassroots outreach, education programs, faith-based organizing, goverment departments, media outreach, local business support, and non-profit work.”
Here are just a few examples of the amazing women working in NYC today:
Audubon’s Women in Conservation Program recognizes and salutes the unwavering commitment of these exceptional women in conservation.
Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education non-profit; the Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens, and co-founder and farmer of the nation’s first greenroof vegetable farm, the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, New York. A lifelong vegetarian, Annie is a passionate advocate for ecology within good agriculture.
Britta is helping more than 35,000 urban residents grow their own fresh food ingredients at home. While participants learn new high tech organic veggie growing techniques, their experience contributes to agricultural biodiversity conservation. Her company, Windowfarms, both sponsors an open citizen research project online and locally manufactures vertical hydroponic indoor food gardens. Her participatory environmental work has been featured at MoMA, the Whitney, the Museum of Science & Industry and the Smithsonian. Her newest project launches in New York this Fall.
As Director of Adopt-a-Highway for the NYC Department of Transportation, Ms. Ferreira is involved in recruiting sponsors to fund the greening of 362 miles of arterial highway. Currently, 240 or 66 percent of the 362 adoptable miles are adopted by sponsors. She maintains an inspection statistics to ensure a high level of performance and quality of cleaning. Her dedication and efforts has made a tremendous difference in the cleanliness throughout the city.
Photos courtesy of Audubon Society except where indicated.