Press Release

The Ohio Environmental Council Announces 2017 Winners of the Annual Environmental Achievement Awards

The Ohio Environmental Council will present its annual Environmental Achievement Awards at the OEC’s annual Green Gala, set for Saturday, November 4, 2017 at COSI Columbus. The awardees have been selected by the OEC’s staff and board of directors for their outstanding contributions to environmental conservation in Ohio.

“We are thrilled to recognize these champions of environmental conservation,” said Aryeh Alex, Vice-President of Public Affairs at the Ohio Environmental Council. “Each award winner has demonstrated outstanding ingenuity and perseverance to help make Ohio a cleaner, more vibrant place to live, work, and play. These award winners remind us that truly incredible things can happen when people get involved in their communities. All of us are better for having these people in our state.”

The award winners for 2017 are:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Sandy Bihn

Sandy Bihn serves as the Executive Director of the Lake Erie Foundation, and has been an organizer and advocate for Lake Erie since the 1980s. She established Lake Erie Waterkeeper in 2004 and the Lake Erie Improvement Association in 2011. She was one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Healing Our Waters (HOW) organization and serves on several boards and commissions. She is currently a member of the International Joint Commission (IJC) Water Quality Advisory Board and is a member of Oregon City Council. Sandy has an MBA from the University of Toledo.

Conservation Hero Award – Tim Moloney

Tim Moloney is a lifelong Columbus resident who has been in parks and recreation for more than 20 years. In 2014, he was named executive director for the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, a position that he referred to as ‘a bucket list job.’ He previously served the cities of Upper Arlington, Westerville, and Columbus in their respective park systems. Under his leadership, the already-strong metroparks system acquired thousands of acres of new land, resulting in the largest expansion of park land since the system’s creation. More importantly, his dedication to the preservation of natural areas for public good has benefitted countless Ohioans, and will continue to do so for years to come.


Community Leader Award – Alicia Smith

Alicia Smith is a neighborhood activist with the Junction Community Coalition (JCC) in Toledo. She also serves as the executive director of the City of Toledo Youth Commission. With the JCC, Alicia organized a neglected neighborhood around a variety of local environmental issues, from water quality, to flood protection, to vacant and blighted properties. Two recently-installed green infrastructure projects were placed on vacant neighborhood lots to help mitigate neighborhood flooding and help address urban sources of water pollution. Alicia is dedicated to working for environmental justice in her community.