Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Champion Awards

Annually during Earth Week, Gorge Owned awards the Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Champion Awards. These awards celebrate individuals, businesses and students working on innovative, creative solutions to the environmental, economic and social issues facing the Gorge. This year, winners will be announced at the Gorge March for Science/Science Fair on Saturday, April 28 at Rheingarten Park in White Salmon. The Fair will begin at 9:30 AM with a procession of the species, followed by a science fair, speakers, and presentation of the Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Award winners beginning at 10:30 AM. The March itself will start at noon.

Tod J. LeFevre

Tod J. LeFevre

This award 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, 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. We honor Tod and his humble determination to make our community and this world a better place.

Nominations open until April 6

Vote for your favorites April 9-13

2017 Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Champion Winners!

John Nelson

John Nelson


What Makes John a Champion

Since retiring as a school teacher, John has dedicated his life to serving on numerous boards and in leadership of advocacy and conservation groups here in the Gorge. He serves on the board of Friends of the Gorge, in leadership of Protecting Oregon’s Progress, on the board of the N Wasco County school district, as a planning commissioner for the City of the Dalles, on a forestry commission, and more. He also led the community-driven campaign to prevent Walmart from breaking ground in the Dalles years ago, has been a tireless advocate for clean air in The Dalles, and is a water monitor volunteer for Columbia Riverkeeper. John exemplifies a life led in service for community and environmental stewardship.

Columbia Gorge Women's Action Network

Columbia Gorge Women's Action Network


What Makes CGWAN a Champion

Launching less than 5-months ago as a private Facebook group with a handful of members, the Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network has blossomed into a strong and supportive network of women activists working locally to protect democracy, human rights for all, free and fair media, and a safe environment. Now, with nearly 2,000 members, the Women’s Action Network has made quick work of organizing and harnessing local passion and energy to advocate for a just and sustainable region, all through volunteer engagement. Learn more about the network at Congratulations to Mike Mayfield, Kirsten Dennis, and the rest of the leadership at the Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network!

Isis Stenn

Isis Stenn


What Makes Isis a Champion

Isis was nominated for this year’s award by Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn, who called her “a powerful and compelling advocate”. Isis has been an active member of the May Street Robo Dragons club, which championed a reusable bag program in Hood River grocery stores. Her advocacy against the use of disposable plastic bags and her presentation to the Hood River City Council contributed to the city-wide ban on plastic shopping bags that recently took effect in Hood River. Isis continues to fundraise for and distribute reusable bags and stickers throughout the community, reminding us all to bring our bags when we go shopping!

Past winners

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