Two Okemos residents recognized among dozens of environmental leaders

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 2:33 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - Two community members from Okemos, Michigan will be recognized Thursday among dozens of environmental leaders.

Anne and Tom Woiwode from Okemos along with Detroit resident Diane Cheklich will be awarded during the 24th Annual Environmental Awards Celebration, hosted by the Michigan Environmental Council.

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According to officials, the Woiwodes are to receive the Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award for their 90 combined years of environmental leadership.

Anne was the first director of the Michigan Sierra Club in the 1980′s. She halted construction on eight proposed coal plant, forced the state to regulate massive livestock operations, and protected 150 square miles of dunes and forests through the Michigan Wilderness Act.

Tom was the founding director of the Nature Conservancy and also created EarthShare, which helps private and public employees donate to environmental nonprofits.

“While you can touch and feel and see and walk on all these things, I think something more important is that people long after we are out of this business are going to enjoy and benefit from all this,” said Tom. “They literally have changed the way people think about the environment, about their relationship to the environment, to each other, and that’s the legacy.”

Diane Cheklich, who leads Detroit Bird City, a Detroit Audubon and City of Detroit collaboration, will receive the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership.

Festivities will take place at Detroit’s Eastern Market from 6 to 8 p.m. July 21.


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