Thursday, June 3, 2010

Environmental heroes: Faye Nelson, Margaret Weber making Detroit a better place

Each year for the past dozen, the Michigan Environmental Council (my employer) has given out a pair of prestigious awards – one to leaders who have made exceptional contributions to Michigan’s natural resources and a second to grassroots activists whose selfless and often uncompensated work has made a difference.
The awards have gone to Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, academics, and crusaders and bona fide tree huggers.

This year, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy President Faye Alexander Nelson is slated to receive Michigan’s top environmental award, and Detroit recycling pioneer Margaret Weber has been named Michigan’s grassroots leader of the year:

Faye (pictured at top) spearheads the Detroit RiverWalk project that has transformed the city’s riverfront from a frightening, blighted landscape to a beautiful magnet for social interaction. If you haven’t been there lately, you need to come down:

Margaret has spent decades bringing recycling options to Detroiters. She has been one of the key voices in, finally, establishing a pilot curbside recycling program in the city, which with persistence can be the first step toward closing the city’s polluting, expensive incinerator: (A shout out to the Metro Times’ Curt Guyette here, whose reporting on the incinerator issue is second to none)

You can learn a little bit about them with the link to the press release above. But suffice it to say that Detroit is a better, cleaner, more attractive and more hopeful city today thanks to the hard work and vision of both these women.

They’ll be honored Wednesday, June 9 at a fundraiser/reception at the Omni Hotel on the Detroit RiverWalk.

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