ASHLAND, Wis. - A number of local Copper Country programs and people were recipients of the Binational Lake Superior program Environmental Stewardship Awards in Ashland, Wis.
Three of nine winners were from Michigan and the local winners include Alex Mayer, an educator at Michigan Technological University, Green Campus Enterprise at Michigan Tech and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, headquartered out of the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.
Lissa Radke, the U.S. coordinator for the Lake Superior Binational Forum, said the awards program pays tribute to U.S. and Canadian nominees who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through leadership in one of six categories, including youth, individual adult, business, industry and municipality, organization or first nation/tribe.
In a May 9 photo, Dollar Bay High School sophomores Brett Houle, left, and Erica LeClaire sit behind their team’s project display in the Forestry Building on Michigan Technological University’s campus during the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative program. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Kelly Fosness)
Each recipient was chosen for different reasons. Mayer was awarded for his "outstanding accomplishments on a remediating and restoration project." Mayer spent almost eight years bringing sections of the long-abused Huron Creek in Houghton to a more natural state. "The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative was a huge partnership with local school districts and community programs," she said.
The Green Campus Enterprise at Michigan Tech received honors for engaging students in sustainability, including reducing the school's carbon footprint, developing hands-on sustainability projects and providing outreach.
"There were six judges, three from each country, who were looking for groups and individuals who have demonstrated over time they are doing significant work that improves the condition of the environment," Radke said.
The winners, she said, not only displayed care over time, but work to prepare the next generation of Lake Superior users.
Awards were held July 17 in Superior, Wis., during the free Lake Superior Day Festival for the public.