Congratulations to our 2017 Symposium award winners!
Organization of the Year Award
Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association: devoted to enhancing the public’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Anza-Borrego desert and surrounding areas. They sponsor over 150 hikes, lectures, tours, and other programs each year. Betsy Knaak, their Executive Director, not only cares about educating people about the Desert, but also understands the importance of managing invasive plants. Most in Borrego Springs realize the wildflowers don’t stand a chance against things like Sahara mustard, and ABDNHA has been participating in the Sahara mustard and now Volutaria task force since its beginning. In early 2017 we contacted Betsy to ask her to step up yet again and help us with Volutaria, now known as Desert Knapweed. ABDNHA got the word out to the community on the threat and helped us hire our first Volutaria coordinator for the spring 2017 season. We couldn’t have done it without the help of ABDNHA and their volunteers, please join me in thanking Betsy and Office Manager Andrea Taylor from ABDNHA!
Wildland Stewardship Conservation Corps of the Year Award
Urban Conservation Corps Southern California Mountains Foundation: Each year Cal-IPC recognizes one of the many conservation corps units across the state for their hard work managing invasive plants while making a difference in young people’s lives. This year’s recipient works right here in the Coachella Valley, removing tamarisk and other weeds on BLM land on the Santa Rosa National Monument and the Coachella Valley Preserve.
National Park Service Weedzilla Award
Joey Algiers, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Ryan Jones Catalyst Award For Wildland Stewardship
Ron Vanderhoff, Orange County Chapter of California Native Plant Society
Golden Weed Wrench Award, Land Manager of the Year
Jennifer Prado, Conservation Lands Manager for the Friends of the Desert Mountains: Our recipient has hosted over 50 weed warrior events where volunteers work to remove tamarisk, fountain grass, bull thistle, Sahara mustard and other troublesome desert invasives. This work has involved invasive species removal on an estimated 300+ acres of natural lands over the last four years, in the Coachella Valley, including the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Our recipient is a member of the steering committee for the Low Desert Weed Management Area. She’s gotten press for some of her more public events, which leverages good outreach. The efforts of her weed warriors are evident on the Coachella Valley Preserve where this spring wildflowers outdid Sahara mustard in areas where the weed warriors had removed mustard by hand the year before.
Jake Sigg Award for Vision & Dedicated Service
Edith Allen, University of California, Riverside
Student Contest Winners
- Karen Tanner, UC Santa Cruz
- Kerstin Kalchmayr, CSU San Francisco
- Brooke Pickett, UC Riverside
- Monique Silva Crossman, Humboldt State University
- Noah Teller, UC Riverside Cooperative Extension
- Shelley Bennett, UC Santa Barbara
Photo Contest Award Winners: