October 7, 2014
Prairie Rivers Network will honor Kevin Green, Pete Leki, and Joy Schmoll for their work in protecting and promoting the health of Illinois rivers and wildlife at its Annual Dinner on October 10. The event will be held at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S First Street in Champaign IL.
Vermilion County Board member Kevin Green will receive the Outstanding Public Servant award for his work protecting the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River. Mr. Green is a farmer from rural Oakwood that serves on the Vermilion County Board as well as the boards for the Vermilion County Conservation District Foundation and the Vermilion County Soil and Water Conservation District. Green supported the call for responsible closure of Dynegy’s leaking coal ash dumps along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River by bringing the issue before a variety of local leaders. Each of these boards unanimously passed resolutions pushing the Illinois EPA and political representatives to take action on these deteriorating pits along the state’s only National Scenic River.
Pete Leki of Chicago, IL will be presented the River Steward award. Leki has been a tireless champion for the oft neglected and abused Chicago River. Leki is the ecology teacher at Waters School in Chicago, co-steward of Sauganash nature restoration site along the Chicago River, and lead organizer of the Riverbank Neighbors Community group. Prairie Rivers Network is honoring Mr. Leki for his many years of work and inspiration, resulting in generations of Waters School students and families knowing and loving the Chicago River, as well as his leadership in transforming both the North Branch of the Chicago River, as well as the community that thrives along its banks.
Artist and graphic designer Joy Schmoll of Evanston, IL will receive Prairie Rivers Network’s Volunteer of the Year award for the donation of her time and work, including designs of logos, flyers, and t-shirts. For more information on the Annual Dinner, go to www.prairierivers.org/dinner