Dominican Sister wins ‘Climate Hero Award’

Eleven individuals and organizations, including Dominican Sister of Peace Claire McGowan and Jessie Rathburn, were honored with the first Isaac Wolfe Bernheim Climate Hero Award.

— Sister McGowan is the founder of New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future — a group that promotes sustainability in rural communities to ensure a healthy future for all, said a press release from Bernheim Forest and Arboretum. Among the group’s achievements is launching a Green Pioneer Home effort with 1,000 homes participating. It also offers educational programs for all age groups.

— Jessie Rathburn helped to establish the Carbon Reduction Fund and encouraged renewable energy practices at the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse in Loretto, Ky. Rathburn was the primary organizer of the movement to place more than 600 acres of the Motherhouse land into a conservation easement and assisted in establishing the Nature Preserve Cemetery, the release said. 

The awards were presented during Bernheim’s annual Earth Day celebration April 20. 

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