Environmentalist of the Year Awards

Join us for a memorable 2022 Environmentalist of the Year Awards. Attend and enjoy, have refreshments and wine, talk with friends and colleagues, and learn more about the important work of the award recipients, our partner organizations, and ECOS.

ECOS has been hosting the Environmentalist of the Year Awards since 1973. This year, we are hosting the 2022 Awards as an in-person event. Please join us on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at Curtis Hall, Sierra 2 Center, Sacramento 95818.

  • 5:30 pm Social and Refreshments
  • 6:45 pm Award Presentations

TICKETS: Online ticket sales have ended. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

Through the Environmentalist of the Year Awards, ECOS honors local leaders who have had noteworthy success in achieving action on climate change, preserving habitat, promoting transit-oriented development, and advocating for clean air and against sprawl.

Seeking Sponsorships

Please consider sponsoring the Environmentalist of the Year Awards presented by the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS). Your sponsorship recognizes the awardees’ good work and supports the future work of ECOS.

2022 Environmentalists of the Year

Chris Brown

Chris Brown has achieved major success as coordinator of the Sacramento Climate Coalition, which played a lead role in convincing three local entities to adopt Climate Emergency Declarations with the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. The first was the city of Sacramento in 2019. In 2020, the SMUD Board’s declaration includes a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, and for a commitment to environmental justice. Also in 2020, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ declaration led to the creation of a Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force to oversee the county’s climate action planning process and advise it on actions to take in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. Chris, an expert in water conservation and drought, also serves on ECOS’ Water Committee; and on the board of the Green Incubator, which supports citizen efforts for environmental protection in our region.

Ralph Propper

Ralph Propper is Chair of the ECOS Climate Committee after serving as ECOS President of the Board for four years. He is also a member of the Breathe Sacramento board. After retiring from the research division of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Ralph taught chemistry part-time at UC Davis and Sacramento City College. Prior to CARB, Ralph worked at the Coalition for Clean Air.

Ralph is a leader in environmental advocacy. His professional work in air pollution research, toxics, and climate science, and his academic studies in chemistry and environmental health mean his advocacy is informed by science. He is a coalition builder and helped to establish SacMoves and Sacramento Investment Without Displacement. Ralph is welcoming and never hesitates to fill in those who are interested on the status of the work. From late nights at Sacramento County Board of Supervisors hearings to Farmer’s Market chats with our allies, Ralph is always “on” and ready to fight for a healthier Sacramento for all.

Mark Berry

Mark Berry has been leading the charge with neighborhood group “Preserve the American River” to prevent inappropriate development of the old Kassis property in Rancho Cordova – 41 acres of open space between Folsom Boulevard and the American River that provides valuable wildlife habitat. The developer’s proposed plan is to build a retaining wall up to six feet high along the river bluff edge and fill-in the floodplain ten feet high to build 100 homes, 24 of which would be tightly spaced mansions looming over the riverfront. They intend to abandon recorded public hiking and riding easements that allow public access and American River Parkway trail connectivity along the river. Mark’s group has worked with ECOS member “Save the American River Association” to push the City to save the lower acreage and require a full Environmental Impact Report before the City Council votes. ECOS is on record as opposing development in the river floodway; we prefer transit-oriented development including affordable housing outside of the floodplain and near RT’s proposed Horn Road light-rail station.

Mackenzie Wieser

Mackenzie Wieser is CEO of Sacramento Splash, a regional environmental education organization. Its mission is to help children understand our natural world. Her work on vernal pools and their biodiversity includes programs to increase their awareness of native habitat, especially vernal pools. This year, she created the Youth Environmental Leadership Camp for middle-schoolers, with docents from agencies, businesses, and non-profits.

Previously, Mackenzie was a planner for the California Strategic Growth Council, and climate change program manager for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. While serving as Elk Grove Planning Commissioner, she helped defeat a plan to locate a large hospital next to a National Wildlife Refuge. After serving on the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors appointed her to its Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force, to provide input related to the built environment.

We applaud Mackenzie’s commitment to conservation and her efforts to improve land use planning decisions.

Past Environmentalist of the Year awardees have been citizen activists, professors, students, elected officials, governmental and agency staff, business and labor leaders, scientists, lawyers, developers, planners, and architects.

COVID protocol: We ask all who come to be current on their COVID vaccinations.

Last year, 2021

Because of COVID, ECOS honored awardees through the short film below by Kent Lacin. Enjoy the film!

Past EOY Awardees
Past EOY Sponsors (2021)

Hashtag: #sacenviroawards