ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon to honor Upstate Champions Feb. 23

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Upstate Forever is proud to announce the local champions who will be honored at this year’s ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon. Every year, the ForeverGreen event celebrates individuals and organizations for their significant contributions in the areas of sustainable development, land conservation, clean water, air quality, waste reduction, public service, and volunteer work.


“Every day, Upstate Forever’s staff of 19 works hard on programs and policies to balance development with the protection of our natural resources and special places,” said Upstate Forever Executive Director Andrea Cooper. “We can’t do this work alone. Citizens, local governments, businesses, and institutions must all work together to protect the clean water, healthy air, farm and forestlands, and high quality of life we all enjoy. Fortunately, there are some very important champions of this mission.

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This year’s award recipients include:

Sustainable Communities Champion: Taylors TownSquare, a nonprofit organization that began as a community gardening project that is now enhancing the quality of life for the entire Taylors community.


Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Champion: Paris Mountain State Park Friends, a group dedicated to protecting and enhancing one of South Carolina’s busiest and most popular parks.


Clear Skies Champion: Bruce Wood for his visionary work to promote and advance solar power as a source of clean and renewable energy in South Carolina.


Public Servant of the Year: Matt Schell for going above and beyond to make river recreation accessible to all, seeing the installation of the first – and only – ADA floating kayak launch on the Upper Saluda River.


Clean Water Champion: Clemson University Professor Dr. Gene Eidson for his role in developing a new technology that has the potential to revolutionize water resources management across the world.


Volunteer of the Year: Terry Schager for his grassroots effort to stop Duke Energy’s proposed substation and transmission line project.


Three Rs Champion (Reuse, Reduction, Recycling): Clemson University Recycling Services for their amazing reduce, reuse and recycle success story, including national recognition as the winner of the Game Day Recycling Challenge.


This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. J. Drew Lanham, an alumni distinguished professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University. A native South Carolinian, Dr. J. Drew Lanham’s work focuses on how we think of and treat the land we share with birds and other wild beings. Dr. Lanham will speak to his passion for nature and belief that conservation must be a blending of science, art and heart.


Upstate Forever’s 2016 ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon is at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville, S.C. For tickets and/or questions, please contact Ashley Swann at 864-235-8330 or


Upstate Forever is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting sensible growth and the protection of special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Our three program areas are Land Trust, Sustainable Communities, and Clean Air and Water. Founded in 1998, Upstate Forever now has nearly 2,000 members, two offices, and a staff of 18. For more information visit


-Submitted by Ashley Swann