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People Who Make a Difference: 2021 Awards

Rudbeckia hirtaOn Oct 24, 2021, nearly 50 people joined Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA) at the Winery at La Grange to celebrate four people who are making a difference. This event put a spotlight on people who are generously working to strengthen Prince William communities and reminded us that our actions are important.

People mingled and shared concerns about the rural crescent, datacenters placed next to National Parks, the ongoing struggle to protect historic cemeteries, the value of native plants, and natural area parkland. We exchanged stories and ideas, and connected with one another over shared interests and to learn about something new.

PWCA recognizes the power of people, our voices, our stories and our actions. Much of what makes Prince William County special is the result of individuals who are leading the way to protect our quality of life. On Sunday, PWCA and guests recognized and thanked four Prince William County residents for their unique contributions that make the place we call home all the more special.

Kim Hosen, Executive Director, opened the program with a reminder that we each can make a difference, particularly when we come together to support a shared vision. "It was difficult to decide who to honor today, there are many people in this county doing amazing work," she said and the crowd nodded in agreement. The people we're recognizing stood out to us and highlight the far reaching ways people make our community more welcoming to each other and nature."


Jim Klakowicz and Brendon HanifanBrendon Hanafin presented the first award to Jim Klakowicz for his work in protecting Leesylvainia State Park. He told anecdotes about how Jim managed to eliminate a planned swimming pool, relocated the visitor center to protect a high quality forest, and prevent construction of a boat motel at the park. Brendon also credited Jim with taking swift action to protect the oak trees at Leesylvania from the invasive gypsy moth.
Judy  Gallagher and Mariam LobsteinJudy Gallagher presented the award to Marion Lobstein for her work in starting the extraordinary Flora of Virginia Project. Marion is also a co-author of Finding Wildflowers in the Washington Area, a founding Board Member of the Virginia Native Plant Society and Professor Emeritus of Northern Virginia Community College. She also taught many classes for Smithsonian's Resident Associate program and has conducted many a wonderful wildflower tour. Marion's contributions to Botany in Virginia are extraordinary.
Carlos Castro and Ashley Studholme

Ashley Studholme presented the award to Carlos Castro in recognition of his work as a community leader and entrepreneur who has built a business that responds to the needs of the Prince William's Hispanic community. Carlos reflected on the importance of protecting our environment in Prince William and empowering others to lead the way for today and the future. Carlos is also a founder of the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action, and has served on many other boards.

Elena Schlossberg and Frank WashingtonElena Schlossberg recognized Frank Washington with praise for his efforts to protect historic resources in Thoroughfare. When faced with a threat to his ancestral heritage, a fight he never planned to take on, without thought or a concrete plan in place, Frank faced the issues head on, knowing that he simply must figure out the path forward. Frank's leadership, unwavering advocacy and ability to inspire those around him to do the right thing has made a difference to current and future generations.

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