Orinda honors its stellar environmental and volunteer residents
By Nick Marnell
Cindy Powell and Candace Andersen, left, and Catharine Baker and Amy Worth, right, flank volunteers of the Fix Orinda Roads committee. Photo Nick Marnell
Several Orinda residents were presented environmental and volunteer awards sponsored by the Orinda Association at a ceremony held at the Orinda Country Club Feb. 26. When the officials handed out the awards, not a one was handed out to an incorrect winner - a coincidence since the event was held on the night of the Academy Awards.
Brian Waters, a volunteer with the Friends of Orinda Creeks, won the William Penn Mott, Jr. Environmental Award for the restoration of rainbow trout to San Pablo Creek. said. "It takes a village," he said. "So many people have helped raise awareness of the creeks in our community."
Orinda Vice Mayor Amy Worth lauded Waters' restoration of a natural habitat, which she said posed an exceptionally difficult challenge today.
County Supervisor Candace Andersen praised the city for its focus on environmental issues. "They are not always recognized in our communities and they are so important to our quality of life," she said.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to the Fix Orinda Roads grassroots organization. Residents joined together after the failure of two ballot measures and worked toward the passage of two new bond measures allocating $45 million to fix the city roads. Spokesman Mark Roberts credited the group. which included Brad Barber of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and former Mayor Sue
"All of us are volunteers," he said. "We are proof that Orindans can pull together to accept the challenges that face our city and find creative and constructive ways to overcome them."
Andersen said she was all for handling situations like these locally. "I'm not one to waste people's taxes, but I have the greatest respect for the people of Orinda who are willing to tax themselves to ensure they have safe roads," she said.
"I'd love to see the state have similar progress and success," said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker.
Worth closed out the ceremony by high-fiving city residents who she said come through in every time of need. "When you're asked, you say yes," she said.