The Alliance is proud to recognize our 2019 Environmental Leadership Award Winners
This year, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is honored to present the 2019 Fran Flanigan award to John Cox, former CEO and current Chairman of the Board of Turkey Hill Dairy.
In partnership with the Alliance and the Maryland Virginia Milk Producers’ Cooperative Association (MDVA), John Cox was a driving force in building the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP). The partnership was created to support efforts by Lancaster County farmers to improve the health of Lancaster’s rivers and streams. Through the THCWP, Turkey Hill is leading the way for the private sector to do their part for clean local streams and rivers in the Lancaster area.
In 2018, the Alliance met John Cox at an Alliance Businesses for the Bay networking forum hosted in coordination with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. A conversation with our Pennsylvania State Director, Jenna Mitchell, resulted in asking John how many farmers supplying milk to Turkey Hill had conservation plans. John took that question back to Turkey Hill, and then worked with their dairy supplier, MDVA, to include financial incentives to farmers once they came into compliance with their plans. Turkey Hill will then pay the farmers a premium for their milk. The Alliance helped leverage $1.5 million in funding from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to assist with implementing practices on the ground with MDVA farmers providing milk to Turkey Hill. With over 140 farmers participating, this partnership, driven by the vision and energy of John Cox, is driving major improvements to local water quality in Lancaster County.
This project demonstrates that leadership within the private sector can accelerate conservation actions – leadership John has been vocal in helping to replicate with other CEO’s and businesses. Turkey Hill has made information about their practices freely available to motivate other businesses to adopt similar approaches. As the THCWP has grown, its successes clearly demonstrate that the effort is replicable in other agricultural industries.
The Alliance is proud to honor John Cox with the Fran Flanigan Leadership Award for his significant strides towards creating new and innovative public-private partnerships to make a big impact on the land and water in the Lancaster area, and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Thank you John, for your leadership in the Chesapeake Bay restoration movement!
The Alliance will also honor three Watershed Champions at our Taste celebration for their outstanding contributions to the Chesapeake watershed through innovative thinking, initiative, and the development of inspiring and impactful partnerships to advance stewardship in the Chesapeake watershed.
Katherine Antos had an impressive start to her career at the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program where she crafted a fifteen year plan in partnership with the six Chesapeake Bay states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government to drastically reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution. Katherine was instrumental in establishing a road map for pollution reduction goals in the Chesapeake Bay for 2040.
In addition, as an Ambassador for the Anacostia River under the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, Katherine worked with government, watershed, and community-based organizations to restore the river and enhance opportunities and access for under-served neighborhoods. She aspired to deepen community organizations’ engagement around the future of Anacostia Park, climate adaptation, and watershed restoration.
Katherine is currently the Branch Chief for the DC Department of Energy and Environment ‘Partnering and Environmental Conservation Branch’, which brings together District and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and residents to restore and preserve the District’s waterways. She works to improve water quality, manage stormwater, reduce litter, and enhance the District’s resilience. The Alliance is thrilled to honor Katherine as a Watershed Champion at this year’s Taste for her work activating District residents in environmental projects and enhancing community resilience.
Kimberly Hickey, one of the founding members and leaders of the Stormwater Disciples at Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church, was the backbone and driver of an extraordinary effort that brought together watershed groups, government agencies, and practitioners to address the severe flooding issues at the church’s hallowed and historic cemetery.
Throughout the project, Kimberly collaborated with both internal and external partners to facilitate discussions around the issues, brainstorm solutions, and shepherd a stream and wetland restoration project from conception to completion. She even spearheaded a community volunteer day to install plants in the wetland portion of the project.
Kimberly serves as the Treasurer for Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church and is an Anne Arundel County Watershed Steward (class of 2017). Because of Kimberly’s championship efforts (along with the efforts of the rest of the Stormwater Disciples), the church’s stream and wetland restoration project now protects the cultural and natural resources that are so very important to her community and to the region. The Alliance is honored to celebrate Kimberly as one of our 2019 Watershed Champions!
Reverend Dr. Patricia Gould-Champ
The Reverend Dr. Patricia Gould-Champ of Faith Community Baptist Church has been a driving force behind an extraordinary project that quickly outgrew the initial concept, and soon became something much more important. In 2016, the Alliance received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to form partnerships with the faith community to engage congregants in our RiverWise program in Virginia. The program’s goal was to link creation care with stormwater pollution reduction on church properties in hopes that congregants would carry the ideas and principles of these practices into their personal lives, and begin making changes at home.
However, when the Alliance began working with Dr. Gould-Champ and Faith Community Baptist Church, something much more powerful began to take place. Rather than just installing stormwater practices, the Alliance’s funding was able to help support Faith Community’s larger goal of addressing food justice issues in the East End of Richmond. Faith Community installed a solar powered rain water harvesting system, fruit trees, a berry patch, a native plant and meditation labyrinth, six raised gardens where eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and other vegetables are planted, and an African keyhole composting garden. These gardens, named the Garden of Hope by the congregation, became the beginning of a much larger effort to create a local farmer’s market in the heart of a community with high impervious cover, and little access to affordable, fresh, locally grown food.
The Alliance is excited about the direction that this project is headed, and is proud to honor Reverend Patricia Gould-Champ, and the entire congregation of Faith Community Baptist Church for their inspirational leadership in creating a sustainable and healthy community.
Our environmental award winners are representative of many others whose dedication inspires all of us every day.
We invite you to join us at our 2019 Taste of the Chesapeake on September 26 in Annapolis to celebrate these inspiring environmental leaders and champions, and to support the Alliance’s critical work to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay. To get your tickets for this year’s Taste, please visit us online at allianceforthebay.org/taste.