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Home Green Green on the Green: Rye Sustainability Committee’s Leadership Award Winners

Green on the Green: Rye Sustainability Committee’s Leadership Award Winners

The Rye Sustainability Committee bestowed its annual Leadership Awards in a ceremony on the Rye village green Friday.

Started in 2017, the awards recognize those individuals, organizations or members of the business community that have made significant environmental achievements and demonstrated excellence in leadership for the health of the community and planet.

Typically the the awards are given at a city council meeting during Earth Week in
April, but due to the pandemic, the awards presentation took place on the Village Green just outside City Hall.

Meet the winners:

2020 Rye Sustainability Leadership Award recipient, Bill Lawyer accepting his award from City Councilperson and Rye Sustainability Committee liaison, Sara Goddard.

(PHOTO: 2020 Rye Sustainability Leadership Award recipient, Bill Lawyer accepting his award from City Councilperson and Rye Sustainability Committee liaison, Sara Goddard.)

INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY
Bill Lawyer

Bill Lawyer developed an interest in sustainability as a young child while spending summers on his grandparents’ farms in Iowa and Pennsylvania learning about the importance of sustainable agriculture. He got involved with clean water issues in high school; sustainable forestry and forest management in college; and as a member of the Peace Corps, he researched land use management and politics in graduate school.

As a teacher at Rye Country Day School, he established an ecology club on the first-ever Earth Day and helped students organize school recycling efforts. Bill spent ten years as a board member of the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County, with two terms as Vice President and two as President, during which time he helped found and plan the popular FCWC Conservation Cafe workshops and the ‘To Build or Not to Build’ programs. He helped found the Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye (EAGR) — a group of concerned citizens advocating for environmental action. He was Executive Director of the Greenburgh Nature Center for thirty years.

Bill currently serves on the City of Rye Conservation Commission/Advisory Council and is working with Rye Country Day School science teachers to determine the health of the Rye Town Park pond’s diverse flora & fauna. Currently, he is the Assistant Director for Community Relations at Rye Town Park and a freelance writer on Nature and Environment for the Rye Record.

John Krall, Executive Chef, accepting on behalf of Manursing Island Club the 2020 RSC Leadership award in the nonprofit category from Rye Sustainability Vice-Chair Gretchen Kaye-Crowley.

(PHOTO: John Krall, Executive Chef, accepting on behalf of Manursing Island Club the 2020 RSC Leadership award in the nonprofit category from Rye Sustainability Vice-Chair Gretchen Kaye-Crowley.)

NON-PROFIT CATEGORY
Manursing Island Club accepted by John Krall

For over five years, The Manursing Island Club, under the leadership of Tom Cherniavsky and John Krall, has established and integrated sustainable practices into their daily operations. They were often the first organization in Rye to institute sustainable changes and set an example for other clubs.

And whenever the Rye Sustainability Committee met with them, to propose a new initiative, Tom and John were open and responsive. Among the many sustainable initiatives Manursing has made – are selecting environmentally friendly or recyclable paper and plastic products. Some take out- and service containers are 100% compostable. Glass and plastics that are cleared from the tables are recycled. Manursing collects, saves and recycles all their corks, and has substituted paper straws for plastic ones. Food scraps, are also saved to be composted into soil, this has greatly reduced the overall amount of garbage in their dumpsters.

The club no longer uses pesticides anywhere on the property and is a Rye Healthy Yard member. Plants and flowers are selected for the ability to attract insects and birds – and each year additional plant materials are added, to enhance the pollinator habitat. In an effort to cultivate good sustainable practices with the next generation, campers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to camp.

With a membership of approximately 1,200 Manursing’s choices impact a large number of people and age groups, who often start instituting these habits at home. For their comprehensive commitment to making the Manursing Island Club and its membership a more sustainable establishment, the Rye Sustainability Committee is pleased to recognize their ongoing efforts, with the Rye Sustainability Committee’s 2020 Leadership Award.

Former Rye Sustainability Committee Chair Melissa Grieco presenting the 2020 Rye Sustainability Committee Leadership award in the youth category to Kajol Khatri.

(PHOTO: Former Rye Sustainability Committee Chair Melissa Grieco presenting the 2020 Rye Sustainability Committee Leadership award in the youth category to Kajol Khatri.)

YOUTH CATEGORY
Kajol Khatri

Kajol Khatri is a Junior student at Rye High School who has pitched in to help out with Rye Sustainability Committee projects over the past two years. Kajol has helped RSC with the Sound Shore Last Straw initiative, Food Scrap Recycling program, and beach cleanups.

She is the Vice President of the Rye High School Environmental Club where she is currently working on making her school a more sustainable place. In addition, she also participated in the 2019 Youth Climate Strike.

Kajol is currently working on a project, called “Eco Chester” — an environmental/sustainability campaign to educate citizens on how to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life. One of the main projects is a marker drive to encourage children to donate their old markers so they can be recycled into new items rather than tossing them into the waste stream.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Re: the sustainability awards:
    wonderful contributions made by the recipients. BUT NO ONE IN THESE PHOTOS IS WEARING A MASK! WHERE IS THE SOCIAL DISTANCING? How are these people setting any example to those of us who want to sustain our health during this time of COVID-19?

  2. “There have now been 48,299 coronavirus cases reported at 37 universities in the United States.

    Of those cases there have been ONLY 2 hospitalizations.”

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