Your 2018 Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Award Winners!

2018 Tod J. leFevre Champion AwardsGorge Owned is proud to announce the 2018 recipients of the Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Champion Award. The awards were presented at the Gorge March for Science, held Saturday, April 28th at Rheingarten Park in White Salmon.

Individual

Samantha and Jeff Irwin, of Hood River, received the individual category for their radical reduction of waste at home. Through the daily practice of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” they reduced their garbage to three cans for the entire year of 2016 and managed to decrease their garbage to only two cans in 2017. With the average person generating 4.3 pounds of trash per day, Samantha and Jeff were recognized proving that one family can truly make a difference when they commit to changing their habits.

Organization

Hood River County won the organization category for its leadership in developing the Hood River County Energy Plan. The forward-thinking plan is a guide help the county and its residents use energy wisely, reduce fossil fuel emissions related to energy use, and improve resilience and energy independence.

Business

Sustainability Award Presentation

Marti Poseley leFevre presents award to Steven Thompson of Analemma Wines, winner in the business category.

Analemma Wines, of Mosier, Oregon won the business category for their commitment to energy, water, and soil conservation and community engagement. The company’s biodynamic approach to farming results in healthier soil, reduced water use, effective erosion control, biodiversity—not to mention, delicious wine.

About the Award

This annual award presented by Gorge Owned around Earth Day is named after Tod J. LeFevre, a longtime resident of Hood River and a true champion of sustainability. Tod passed away on March 7, 2011 when his long struggle with pulmonary fibrosis ended before donor lungs could be found. Among many other things, Tod was a respected civil engineer, green building advocate, a mountaineer, skier, adventurer, innovator and teacher. He launched a solar engineering and installation firm, Common Energy, which is now owned by his wife Marti and Scott Sorensen. Tod and Marti have two children, Cassell and Sutton Bell. This award honors Tod and his humble determination to collaboratively tackle environmental problems, through his business and through community service.

Full List of this Year’s Nominees

Individual

As a volunteer with AmeriCorps, Jo Shea was one of the first volunteers at Gorge Rebuild-It Center, later becoming an employee of this local non-profit. For Jo, “keeping good used building materials out of the waste stream” was a way of life and a joy. She made displays and posted information, always encouraging customers and thanking them for their sustainable efforts. She lived the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, do with less, do without”. She was a passionate composter and recycler. Her monthly garbage could fit in a lunchbox. Sadly, Jo passed away in April 2017
Caroline Park, co-owner of Thunder Island Brewing Co. in Cascade Locks, didn’t sit idle while the brewery’s doors were shuttered for several weeks during the fire last year. Caroline was responsible for quickly pulling together the phenomenal “Cascade Locks Strong” effort, allowing folks from near and far to show their support by purchasing gift cards for merchants most affected by the fire. Truly a demonstration of how to sustain a local economy in the face of a crisis, Caroline helped to make Cascade Locks more resilient by her quick and proactive actions.
Finally remembering to bring their reusable grocery bags into the store from the car, Jeff and Samantha Irwin were feeling pretty good about their progress to reduce plastic in their lives…. until they realized just how much of what they buy also comes in plastic. So, in 2016 Jeff and Samantha set a goal to produce no more than three cans of garbage in the year ahead. Each day they made conscious decisions to reduce, reuse and recycle, nearly eliminating the need for garbage cans. And they achieved their goal. In 2017, they doubled down and produced just two cans of garbage that year. Samantha and Jeff are great examples of what individuals can do to reduce the scary amount of garbage headed to our landfills each year.
Chef Mark DeResta and the Riverside Restaurant team jumped into action again this year as they helped to organize the local food partnership with the Hood River Warming Shelter. Local eateries from around Hood River donated hundreds of free meals to the Warming Shelter through this program, reducing food waste and improving the lives of those without adequate food and shelter in the Gorge.

Business

This Mosier-based company has reduced its environmental footprint by minimizing product packaging, by recycling most of its waste and by powering its workshop with renewable energy. Resource Revival is a long-time Gorge business that makes eco-friendly swag (we even use them for the Tod LeFevre Sustainability Awards). Since 1994 Resource Revival has been using discarded materials as its primary feedstock to make keychains, bottle openers, medals, photo frames and other gifts. Resource Revival envisions a future where commerce flourishes in a world powered by renewable energy, and where all consumers are aware of the source of the food they eat and the products they buy.
Kainos Coffee recently opened in The Dalles after operating their popular and acclaimed shop in Portland for many years. The owners, originally from The Dalles, decided to renovate a beautiful old property in the downtown area bringing with them excellent coffee and pizza along with their spirit of community-building, and social entrepreneurship. Purported to pour some of the best coffee in the Gorge, Kainos Coffee donates nearly a quarter of their profits to help children and families in the Philippines.
Analemma Wines is a biodynamic vineyard and winery in Mosier, OR. They focus on soil health, using compost and biodynamic sprays to improve their soils and grow strong vines. They use very little water in their grape growing too. They plant lavender and other plants that attract beneficial insects and prevent soil erosion. They repurposed an existing outbuilding and turned it into an energy efficient winery and tasting room with the help of Green Home Construction. They give back to the community in numerous ways and are generous with their time and their friendly spirit.
Hood River Consulting Engineers is dedicated to engineering and designing structures which focus on environmental sustainability. Every member of this organization is passionate about keeping the gorge beautiful and as close to nature as possible. HRCE recently recommissioned the central energy plant for the White House in Washington D.C., which provides chilled water to the White House Data Center and Visitors Center, as well as the Herbert C. Hoover building. Utilizing free cooling when outside air temps warranted, HRCE’s design will save several thousand tons of CO2 and electricity annually for the Department of State.

Organization

The HRV Parks and Recreation District has kicked off the much-needed development of a multi-agency parks and open space master plan. Taking the lead on a new master plan development process they will help provide a critical common set of goals to be adopted by the District, the County, and the City. Public involvement in the process will be essential for the adopted plan to meet our common goals for the community.
This small group of volunteers ensures that the City maintains a green, tree-positive perspective. Maintaining our Tree City status, they keep council and staff cognizant with respect to street tree choices and policies and act as advocates for the important values of trees in our public spaces. They bring expertise, energy, and passion to tasks that would be easy for a busy, overworked City government to miss.

Under the leadership of Hood River County, the Hood River County Energy Plan was completed and adopted by numerous government agencies in 2018. A group of volunteers from numerous government agencies, nonprofits, utilities and businesses with a common goal crafted the forward-thinking plan to help the county use energy wisely, reduce fossil fuel emissions related to energy use, and improve resilience and energy independence. The volunteer committee was led by Marla Harvey, Hood River County Energy Plan Coordinator, whose dedication has helped position Hood River County as a model rural community for energy planning.

The Hood River Leos can be found the first Saturday of every month, accepting cans and bottles for recycling at the Rosauer’s parking lot. This youth club, organized under the auspices of the Hood River Lions Club, initiates positive community change while developing young leaders through local service opportunities. Led by Kristin Reese and together with the help of Lions Club members including Greg Simpson, Leonard Wood, Scott Thomson and many more, these youths take on the dirty job of accepting, sorting, and redeeming our bottles and cans, then giving the proceeds to worthy local causes.
Resource Revival

 

Thanks to locally owned Resource Revival for once again supplying our eco-friendly awards.

Past winners

2017 Winners

Individual: John Nelson

Business: Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network

Student: Isis Stenn

 

2016 Winners

Individual: Heather Staten

Business: Rebuild it Center

Student: Clare Davies

 

2015 Winners

Individuals: Jurgen and Susan Hess, Hess Photography and Envirogorge

Business: Solstice Wood Fire Cafe and Bar

Student: Charley Boonstra, HRVHS Climate Action Club

 

2014 Winners

Individual: David Skakel, Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Program

Business: Humble Roots Nursery, Kristin Currin & Andrew Merrit

Students: Daeuthen Dahlquist and Erik Siekkinen

 

2013 Winners

Individual: Michael Becker, Hood River Middle School

Business: Cascade Acupuncture Center

Student: Paul Cook, Columbia Gorge Community College

 

2012 Winners

Individual: Linda Short

Business: Dirt Hugger

 

2011 Winners

Individual: Tod J. LeFevre

Business: Springhouse Cellar