Dallas activists Olinka Green and Bre Jacks will be among the honorees at the 2020 Texas Sierra Club Awards on Oct. 3. Courtesy of Bre Jackson.

Sept. 23, 2020

Six North Texans will be among those honored at the Texas Sierra Club’s Environmental Awards next week. 

The awards, hosted by the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, will be held on Oct. 3, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

The event will be broadcast live online via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tickets are $20 and include one raffle entry. Those who purchase tickets will receive the code to join the event. 

Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $10. Prizes include Sierra Club swag, gift certificates and the grand prize of a Big Bend outing. 

The event will include feature performances by Texas musicians.


Marcus Russell and Olinka GreenThe winners from Dallas-Fort Worth include Bre Jacks, Olinka Green and Marcus X Russell who will be receiving the Environmental Justice Award.

Marcus Russell and Olinka Green, pictured, along with Bre Jacks led the Poor People’s Campaign Ecological Devastation Bus Tour last year. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

“All three recipients are extremely active members of the Dallas Sierra Club who have been crucial for expanding DSC's environmental and social justice work across a broad spectrum of activities in South Dallas,” said Dick Guldi, who nominated the activists.

Guldi said the trio led the Poor People’s Campaign Ecological Devastation Bus Tour in November 2019. 

“The tour brought together community, city, business and religious leaders with citizens affected by local environmental disasters,” said Guldi.

The tour included stops at Sandbranch, Joppee, the Lane Plating Superfund Site, Shingle Mountain and the former RSR lead smelter site, putting a spotlight on the enviromental and equity issues surrounding southern Dallas. The event was filmed by PBS to make into a documentary, which is expected to be released in the near future.

Russell is also the founder of Commissary is Very Necessary, a support organization for families in under-served neighborhoods who have incarcerated relatives.


David SchechterDavid Schechter, a reporter for WFAA, and former Dallas Morning News columnist Robert Wilonsky will each receive the Environmental Reporting Award.

Schechter hosts Verify Road Trip.

“We're highlighting his climate change documentary, where he takes a climate skeptic to Alaska to explore the science of climate change and to meet with several climate experts, as well as his documentary titled "Is Texas Sinking", which took him to West Texas to investigate the great Texas oil patch, among a few others that were environmentally focused,” said Natalie Martinez, organizer of the 2020 Awards.

Robert Wilonsky & Marsha JacksonRobert Wilonsky with Marsha Jackson. Courtesy of Dick Guldi. 

Wilonsky is being recognized for his series of articles on what's now known as Shingle Mt. 

In 2018, a pile of asphalt shingles started accumulating on property owned by Blue Star Recycling next to Marsha Jackson’s home in south Dallas. Before long, the toxic pile grew 5-stories tall.

Wilsonsky championed Marsha Jackson’s cause in a series of articles that helped keep her dilemma in the spotlight and enlist public support. As a result, she fought and eventually won her case in April before a state district judge who decreed that the shingles must move.

Wilonsky also received the Green Source DFW award for environmental reporting in 2019.


Andrew BrinkerAndrew Brinker of Fort Worth is being honored with the Special Service Award for his project, the Trinity River Turtle Survey

Andrew Brinker oversees The Trinity River Turtle Survey. Courtesy of Andrew Brinker.

The survey, led by the Paschal High School teacher, is a 3-year project, funded by a TCU grant and permitted by Texas Parks and Wildlife, the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District. 

For the past two years, Brinker and his students have met monthly to measure, mark and release turtles near downtown Fort Worth. To date they have captured over 1,000 turtles of 7 different species. 

The results of the survey will provide baseline data for future studies on how native Texas turtles are faring in the region, especially in view of urban sprawl in DFW.

Brinker won a Green Source DFW Award in 2019 for the project.


2020 Texas Environmental Awards

Hosted by: The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club

When: Oct. 3, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Zoom

Tickets: $20. Those who purchase tickets will receive the code to join the event. 

Each ticket includes one raffle entry. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $10. Prizes include Sierra Club swag, gift certificates and the grand prize of a Big Bend outing.  More prizes.

Info: Natalie Martinez, lonestar.chapter@sierraclub.org




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