Northeast Environmental Partners Announce Award Winners, October 27 Dinner

The winners of 21st Annual Environmental Partnership Awards were announced Tuesday by the Northeast Environmental Partners along with the winner of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award.

            The award winners will be recognized at a special awards dinner on October 27 at the Woodlands Inn & Resort in Wilkes-Barre.
            The award winners include:
-- Earth Conservancy, Luzerne County – Huber III Reclamation Project, Luzerne County: The Earth Conservancy is being honored for the reclamation of the Huber III mine land project, an 82 acre site, which presented environmental hazards of acid mine drainage (AMD) to the Solomon Creek Watershed. The reclamation of this dormant culm-laden site now no longer contributes AMD to the environment and can be responsibly reutilized for purposes that will improve the local economy and quality of life.
-- Joseph Orlowsky, Schuylkill County: Mr. Orlowsky is being honored for his contribution and commitment to improving the streetscape and parks in his community for the past decade. Through Mr. Orlowsky’s leadership over 500 trees have been planted along the streets of Pottsville. He has dedicated many hours above and beyond his chairmanship of the Shade Tree Commission to spearhead tree planting education and initiatives in his and neighboring communities.
-- SEEDS of NEPA, Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support, Wayne County: SEEDS of NEPA is being honored for its efforts to build demand and infrastructure for renewable energy and to encourage sustainable living through energy conservation. SEEDS partnered with Northampton Community College, Wayne County Conservation office, Workforce Wayne, PPL-Electric Utilities as well as many other organizations to provide education, training and recognition regarding alternative energy choices and options.
-- Robert Skulsky, Luzerne County: Mr. Skulsky is being honored for his leadership and commitment to enhance the environment of Northeastern Pennsylvania through his work as the Executive Director of the Greater Hazleton Area Civic Partnership. Mr. Skulsky has been integral in developing the first four miles of the Greater Hazleton Rail to Trail (GHRT). Mr. Skulsky has partnered with many organizations including Leadership Hazleton to promote environmental education, the Greater Hazleton Wellness Center, Wyoming Valley Wellness Trails Partnership and Live Well Luzerne to promote healthy living.
-- Bonnie Smith, Luzerne County: Ms. Smith is being honored for her efforts and advocacy for environmental and land protection. Ms. Smith shares her legal expertise with others to champion environmental protection throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Ms. Smith has partnered with many organizations, such as, North Pocono C.A.R.E., Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, Endless Mountains Nature Center and Stoddartsville Preservation Society among others, to protect area waterways and conserve land. Her efforts have a lasting impression on a myriad of non-profit organizations that have benefitted from her guidance.
-- South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition, Lackawanna County: The South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition is being honored for their activities to protect and maintain the health of the nearly 100 square mile area of the South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed. The Coalition works to educate, promote and sustain the health of the Watershed. The Coalition has partnered with the Lackawanna County Conservation District to conduct dumpsite cleanups, Lackawanna State Park to provide environmental educational forums for area residents; and the Keystone College Willary Water Resource Center and the Countryside Conservancy to support their water quality monitoring program.
            Shelburne Award
            The Seventeenth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award will be presented this year to: Dorrance Belin, Lackawanna County.  Mr. Belin is being honored for his dedication, leadership and commitment to preserving and protecting the environment of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 
            For four decades Mr. Belin has been a leader in the environmental arena through his unique combination of vision and organizational skills, quiet, diplomatic persistence, legal expertise and ability to identify and inspire the human and financial resources so critical to the conservation movement. 
            Mr. Belin was a founding member of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Nature Conservancy as well as the Countryside Conservancy. Mr. Belin has been a steadfast, highly effective leader for the environment for the last forty years utilizing his abilities and expertise to foster partnerships and inspire others to action.
            Dinner Speakers
            This year’s Keynote address will be given by Secretary Michael Krancer, PA DEP.  Michael Krancer was nominated by Gov. Tom Corbett to be the Secretary of Environment Protection on January 18, 2011. The nomination was confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate on April 26, 2011
            Special Commentary will be given by Secretary Richard Allan, PA DCNR.  Governor Tom Corbett nominated Richard J. Allan as DCNR secretary on March 23, 2011. The state Senate confirmed that nomination June 13, 2011 by a vote of 50-0.
            Thomas Makowski, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at Borton Lawson will be the Master of Ceremonies.

            To receive information on attending or sponsoring this event, please contact the NE Office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council at 570-718-6507.


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