Since 1994. KEA has awarded the Art Manley Lifetime Conservation Award to community members for their sustained efforts in furtherance of our mission: “to conserve, protect and restore the environment in North Idaho with a particular emphasis on the Coeur d’Alene basin.” Named for our co-founder, former state senator and dedicated conservationist Art Manley, this year’s award goes to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe have always been stewards for the environment. In 1991 they took a stand by filing a lawsuit to fight for the restoration of the Coeur d’Alene watershed. They also filed a lawsuit to take back ownership of the lake, in which the Supreme Court recognized that the Tribe has always owned the lower one-third of Coeur d’Alene Lake. As stated by the late tribal elder Henry SiJohn, “We do what we do for the future of this lake and for the future of this region. We do it not just for the Coeur d’Alene tribe, but for everybody.” We are honored to celebrate the Tribe’s commitment to our local environment.
The Reed Community Conservation Award embodies the great respect and advocacy efforts of its namesake – Scott & Mary Lou Reed. This year’s recipient is Jamie Esler, Lake City High School’s Science Teacher and director of the Outdoor Studies Program. In 2014, Jamie was named Idaho’s Teacher of the Year and currently serves on Idaho’s Science Standards Committee. He inspires students to focus on tangible changes in the environment and reach their own conclusions about people’s impact on the environment. His Outdoor Studies Program gives them hands on experience while helping them to be more aware of what is going on locally in our environment. Jamie is shaping the youth in our community to be environmental stewards.
KEA Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Suzanne Marshall. Suzanne jumps in with both feet to help those organizations she is passionate about, and luckily she found KEA right away. She quickly became a fixture at our Gathering Garden. She has volunteered at the Roots Pursuit, the Confluence Project’s Snow Science field trip and presented her finds on PCB at a KEA Happy Hour. She has contributed many articles as well as summarized almost every Happy Hour event for the last year. She has offered up her house for many letter writing parties as well as at the KEA office. Suzanne is hosting a fundraiser at the Art Spirit Gallery in September for KEA. Needless to say, Suzanne is an amazing asset to our KEA family!
Our Community Business Award this year goes to a longtime supporter of KEA Animal Allies of Idaho. Animal Allies lowers the cost of spaying and neutering pets by providing subsidy vouchers in North Idaho. Animal Allies of Idaho has helped more than 2,100 cats and dogs since 2014. Founder and Executive Director, Ronnee McGee, has been involved with KEA for many years and a sponsor of Junk2Funk. KEA not only appreciates what Animal Allies is doing for the animals in our community, but also for their support of KEA and our mission.