2013 Community Hero Award
Choosing just one winner of the Community Hero Award was challenging. NCAP received many impressive applications, each highlighting a person with a unique take on reducing pesticide use. We enjoyed hearing about some individuals' work so much that we wanted to share their stories with you, and to give them an extra "thanks!" for all they do.
Julia combines a variety of hands-on, educational approaches to reducing pesticide use in Seattle and other regions of Washington. She currently works for her local Hazardous Waste Management Program and is the co-founder of the Children’s Environmental Health Working Group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, with a special focus on minimizing children’s exposures to toxic chemicals during their critical developmental years. In both positions, she provides opportunities for the public to learn about, and adopt, measures to reduce home pesticide use. In addition to developing web material and award-winning curriculum, she pioneered the Pesticide Free Spaces project, which features an online, interactive map that allows users to find pesticide-free public spaces.
Frequent sprays in highly populated areas in and around her hometown of Mill Valley, California prompted Debbie to take action to protect the well-being of the region’s children. From her roots in organizing grassroots groups of other concerned parents, to her current position as founder/co-chair of MOMS Advocating Sustainability (MOMAS), Debbie has led Marin County and the State of California toward reductions in heavy pesticide use. Currently, MOMAS is working to end a spray program that targets the light brown apple moth despite a lack of evidence that it causes crop damage. Her efforts have directly influenced the passing of progressive IPM laws, and helped to uncover and stop illegal sprayings of carcinogens in parks and other community areas frequented by youth.
Shawn is the Vice President/co-owner of the Eugene-based Mountain Rose Herbs, where he puts his compassion for farmers and dedication to environmental stewardship into action. Under his leadership, Mountain Rose Herbs became the first medicinal herbs distributor wholly committed to offering exclusively organic, fair-trade certified products. Shawn has implemented a system that strengthens the organic movement by supporting its farmers: Mountain Rose Herbs closely examines suppliers’ organic growing practices and working conditions prior to building business relationships with them, and ensures workers receive a fair wage.
Jeanne offers a chemical-free alternative to pest reduction throughout Lane County, Oregon. She carries on a family tradition of removing wasps, yellow jackets and hornets without relying on pesticides. Her work helps curb excessive use of toxics to eradicate bothersome insects, protecting her community from unnecessary exposures.
As the Statewide Coordinator of Oregon’s Extension Master Gardener Program and an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University, Gail is in a unique position to shift attitudes and behaviors toward pesticide use. She has been an integral part of developing curriculum to encourage students, Master Gardeners and other groups to identify root causes of plant problems, rather than seeing pesticides as an automatic answer to any issue that arises. Through her work, more people have become aware of beneficial insects and other non-toxic solutions to pest problems.