Environmentalist of the Year Awards – Call for Nominations

ECOS is pleased to once again host Environmentalist of the Year Awards!

As an integral part of the ECOS community, we invite you to nominate a 2024 Environmentalist of the Year Award recipient. We ask you to reflect on who inspires you and represents the best of our region. Nominations are due on September 6, 2024.

Nominate using the form below eligible candidates who fit the following criteria:

  • Candidates must have made a notable civic contribution to the Sacramento region.
  • Contributions and achievements of candidates must be widely recognized across their field.
  • Candidates’ values must not conflict with the values of ECOS as outlined for each policy area, as well as our broader principles of promoting equity, sustainability and prosperity for all. Click here to learn about our mission, vision, and policy priorities.
  • 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.

When submitting a nomination, please use the form below to provide detailed information and links that document the candidate’s achievements, when possible. Three award recipients will be recognized at the 2024 ECOS Environmentalist of the Year Awards in late October 2024 in Sacramento.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Reagan at office[at]ecosacramento[dot]net.

The deadline to submit nominations is September 6, 2024.

Environmentalist of the Year Awards

Click here to go to the main Environmentalist of the Year Awards webpage.

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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at Curtis Hall, Sierra 2 Center, Sacramento 95818

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

ECOS has been hosting the Environmentalist of the Year Awards since 1973. 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.

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

Help good work to continue through Sponsorship

$250 Ansel Adams
$500 George Washington Carver
$1000 Rachel Carson
$2500+ John Muir

Your support of ECOS means so much! Please sponsor the 2022 Environmentalist of the Year event and join us on November 15 evening to celebrate the awardees:

  • Chris Brown, Sacramento Climate Coalition
  • Mackenzie Wieser, Sacramento Splash
  • Mark Berry, American River/Rancho Cordova
  • Ralph Propper, ECOS Climate Committee

Through the EOY 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.

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

Your sponsorship recognizes the awardees’ good work and supports the future work of ECOS. See the sponsorship levels and tickets, tax-deductible as ECOS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit organization.
Thank you very much for your generosity.

Susan Herre
President of the ECOS Board of Directors

Environmentalist of the Year – Request for Nominations

ECOS is requesting your nominations for Environmentalist of the Year 2022. Since 1973 ECOS has honored local persons, groups, businesses and innovations with this award. Perhaps you recall an event in the past year or so which you were taken with. Then think of the people or group which made that positive impact. Or maybe someone did something you thought particularly noteworthy. Here is your opportunity to have that recognized. Please submit your nomination by filling out this form or by emailing office[at]ecosacramento[dot]net.

Please include with your nomination, your reason why you feel it is worthy and contact information. We appreciate and will consider all nominations. Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

The deadline to make nominations is August 12, 2022.

A Thank-you Note to Kent Lacin, Filmmaker

By Susan Herre, October 14, 2021

Kent Lacin understands the environment. As a member of 350 Sacramento, a local grassroots organization committed to a sustainable future, he applies his filmmaking art and craft to such issues as climate change. In spring of 2021, Kent and his filmmaking partner Steven Steinberg, completed Environmentalists of the Year 2021, a film celebrating ECOS’ four award winners. During prior years, Environmentalists of the Year (EOY) was an in-person award event, held annually. Because of the pandemic, the EOY event went virtual, and Kent generously donated his time, talents, and physical resources to the making of this film.

I asked why.
“It’s something I know how to do. It’s in my wheelhouse. I’ve been making media since I was a kid, telling stories, sharing ideas. Yes, it takes effort and concentration, but the process is very familiar to me. You know, most artists are masochistic, meaning they enjoy dealing with the resistance in the medium itself to get the images they want.”

What was the process of making the EOY film?
“The Environmentalists of the Year film isn’t really a documentary but a portrait to honor and appreciate the four people. First you decide where to meet, considering lighting and sound. You try to draw them out, find out their concerns, and get them to trust you so they become conspirators in the making of the film.”

How do you get them to trust you?
“Oh, I don’t know. You are transparent. If you have a problem, you say it. If they aren’t talking about things the way you want, you tell them. You stay in the moment with them. And technically, as a filmmaker, you have to know what you are doing, or they will lose confidence. I appreciate that people are willing to open up, because I am pretty nosy. I keep digging and digging.”

Back to the process….
“You don’t have a voiceover script, so you need your subjects to tell you the message. When people watch a film like this, they watch it the same way they watch other movies – they expect a story and to get lost in it a bit – so you have to keep going with the filming and dialogue until you get the sound bites that tell a compelling story. Together you write the script on the spot. And on a film like Environmentalists of the Year, you show your subjects the final cut to make sure they are comfortable with it.”

Kent got his start in the “strangest way — my first job was to produce media. This was in about 1972 during the first wave of portable digital media.” He wanted to be an artist, didn’t think about money, and went on to get his MFA at UC Davis. He said it all worked out. By 1978 he was on his own doing media with corporate clients like Seagram’s, the American Banking Association and Paul Masson Winery. Three years later after some “burnout” he shifted to still photography exclusively and stuck with that for nearly thirty years.

Although Kent is now officially retired, he is back making media. On Sept 30, he set up a video campaign in which individuals would “act” in a short clip about the Sacramento County Climate Action Plan, and then post their clip to their own social media accounts. A Sacramento advertising group called FATHOM also donated its help. It was a fun campaign addressing a serious issue. Pretty cool, huh?

ECOS is truly grateful to Kent for making our Environmentalists of the Year film, and for his work to fight against climate change and for the Sacramento region.

Photo by Kyle Loftus from Pexels

Environmentalists of the Year Film Premiere!

ECOS is excited to share with you our 2021 Environmentalist of the Year Awards film, made in lieu of the annual in-person event. Enjoy the film below!

2021 Environmentalists of the Year

Environmentalist of the Year

Dr. Michelle Stevens

Dr. Michelle Stevens, a professor in the Environmental Studies Department at CSUS, has been leading the Bushy Lake Restoration Project along the lower American River Parkway, which protects, studies, and restores Sacramento’s riparian ecosystem. Michelle was able to “sell” this idea to the local community, a myriad of stakeholders, regional professionals and experts, and fellow colleagues. Michelle started with planting a few plants that are important to native peoples in the region, and nurtured it until it grew into a grant-funded restoration plan involving CSUS students and volunteers. Her work is informed and guided in uplifting the historic indigenous practices and culture of traditional ecological knowledge, and provides a hands-on opportunity for college students through CSUS and volunteers. In 2019, this project won an award at the annual CSU-wide Student Research Competition.

Environmentalist of the Year

Brandon Rose

Brandon Rose was ECOS President 2016-2017. During his tenure, ECOS put on a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) workshop, which helped to attract and train volunteers. ECOS supported Sacramento’s plastic bag ban and ethics reform ordinances. Under his leadership, ECOS also helped the City obtain a $44 million “Green City” grant to construct electric vehicle charging stations and acquire electric vehicle fleets for car sharing programs in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Also during Brandon’s board presidency, ECOS worked with Wilton Rancheria to locate their proposed casino within the County of Sacramento’s Urban Service Area, rather than a rural area. In 2017, ECOS sued Caltrans over its approval of extra lanes on US 50 without considering the environmental impacts of increased traffic, which led to a settlement providing funding for transit. Later that year, Brandon was elected to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) board, which has since committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Early Career Environmentalist

Moiz Mir

Moiz Mir was the president of the Environmental Student Organization at CSUS, 2017–2019. As an intern at the Sacramento Mayor’s Office, he organized youth summits to include students’ voices in the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, and served on the Commission’s Community Health & Resiliency and Equity Technical Advisory Committees. He co-won a statewide “Best Practice in Student Sustainability Leadership Award” for organizing the CSUS Student Summit on Climate Change. As a student, Moiz worked with Michelle Stevens, supervising student plant experiments at Bushy Lake. With Sunrise Movement Sacramento, Moiz is engaging youth in climate justice action. Moiz recently became the first staff at 350 Sacramento, where he developed a new after-school student climate organizing program.

Climate Hero

Anne Stausboll

Anne Stausboll chaired the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, which presented its recommendations in June 2020. She obtained a unanimous vote on a very progressive set of recommendations, which took two years to develop. The goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in Sacramento and West Sacramento, by 2045. Anne made sure the Commission reviewed and considered everything through a lens of racial and income equity. She is inspiring us to be active with the City of Sacramento to ensure that these recommendations are incorporated into the Cities’ Climate Action Plans, and into appropriate ordinances and other city actions. As Anne says, “it is a crisis situation, and we need to act now. We want the city to start seriously adopting and acting on the recommendations. Now. It’s not something that can wait.”