Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame a History
In 2010 the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society (MERES) looked around and could not find a Hall of Fame for those people and organizations that had been long time supporters of the environment.
Thus was born the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. There were four categories that year: Non-profit Organizations, Colleges and Schools, Environmental Projects, and Individual. In 2012 we inducted the first groups into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. They were: The Huron River Watershed Council, Tuscola Intermediate School District, the Ruddiman Creek Task Force, Peter Wege, Tom Bailey, Theresa Bernhardt, Robert “Bud” Slingerland, and Gloria Miller.
The following year, 2013 saw the following inducted: Huron Pines, former Governor William Milliken, Fred Wilder, Howard Tanner, and Michigan State University’s Extension Service.
Up until then, the MERES Board of Trustees was selecting the inductees based on their application. In 2013 a Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame advisory committee was formed to assist in the Hall. The first members were;
Tom Bailey of the Little Traverse Conservancy
Bill Krepps, former President of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Tom Coon, Executive Director of the Extension Service of MSU
Dr. Rick Rediske, a professor at Grand Valley State University
Kathy Evans, with West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Council
In 2014 Tom Coons was replaced by Mindy Koch, retired DNR
Then we expanded the categories to Business/Industry and we added a Legacy Circle to honor those people that contributed to the environment but are no longer with us.
In 2014 we inducted: The Clinton River Watershed Council, Mayville Elementary School, Wolves and Moose of Isle Royal, in the Legacy Circle there was Ralph Bailey, Tom Washington and individuals, Norm Spring, Joan Wolfe, and Dave Dempsey, and Don Inman.
In 2015, on May 20th at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, induction ceremony was held for , Kathy Evans, Hon. John Dingell, Pat McNich, and in the Legacy division, P.J. Hoffmaster. Genevieve Gillette, and Dr. Willard Wolfe. The Project division, the Sand Point Remediation and Habitat Restoration.
In 2016 the Ford was under construction and we moved to the Loosemore Aud. On GVSU’s downtown Grand Rapids Campus. Induced that year was: Paul Zugger, John Woollman and Robert Tallman, In the Education category we inducted The Robert B. Annis Resources InstituteThe Legacy Circle was Edith Munger, Margaret Drake Elliot, Ralph MacMullan and Harold Stokes
The non-profit Organization was the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
In 2017 we were again at the Loosemore Aud. And inducted Jack Bails, Tonya Cabala and Merrill ”Pete” Petoskey. The Legacy Circlewas Marcus Schaaf. The Non-Profit Organization was the Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. We gave our first Youth Award to Freeman Elementary students and staff for their efforts in the Flint water crisis.
Each year we also have a speaker.
2012 Jeff Alexander, author
2013 Dr. Alan Steinman, Director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute.
2014 Dave Dempsey, author and environmental policy advisor.
2015 Bill Rustem, Retired Director of Strategy for Gov. Rick Snyder
2016 Tom Bailey, Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy
2017 John Cherry, former Lt. Governor of Michigan
2018 Helen Taylor, State Director Michigan Nature Conservancy
2018 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame
Individuals: Bill Murphy, Bob Garner, Helen Taylor
Legacy Circle: Vern Ehlers
Non-Profit Organization: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
Projects: Project Clarity
Schools/Colleges: Great Lakes LeadershipAcademy
2017 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame
On May 10 the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame inducted it 2017 members. They are:
Individuals: Jack Bails, Tanya Cabala, Merrill "Pete " Petoskey
Legacy Circle: Marcus Schaaf
Non-profit Organization: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
Sunrise Youth Award: Students of Freeman Elemetary in Flint
L-R Mindy Koch for “Pete” Petoskey, Mike Moore for Marcus Schaaf family, Tanya Cabala,Elisabeth Brown , for Freeman Elementary School, Guy Williams for Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Jack Bails
The induction ceremony was held May 19, 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI.
2016 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame Inductees
On April 7, we inducted 10 people and organizations into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. We gathered at the Loosemore Auditorium on the downtown campus of Grand Valley State University. They were:
Paul Zugger, a retired environmental professional, having served 31 years with the Michigan DNR . Since retiring, he has volunteered with Engineers without Borders.
John Woollam has been a philanthropic person whose mentoring and partnership has protected thousands of acres of land for future generations.
Robert Tallman has a passion for educating students in the environment and always has time for anyone exploring our world.
This won in the Education/School category. The Institute has sent students into careers with the environment, encouraged students in middle and high school to look at the environment through the study of water and done research on water throughout Michigan.
The Legacy Circle saw Four Inductees
Edith Munger In 1908, she took the first aggressive action to protect birds. She was instrumental in a contest that named the robin the state bird.
Margaret Drake Elliott was one of the first woman outdoor writers. She had a regular column in the Muskegon Chronicle and was inducted into the Michigan Woman’s Hall of Fame.
Ralph MacMullan became Conservation Director for the State in 1964. He was behind the fight to stop the spraying of DDT and other hard pesticides, in opposition to the Apartment of Agriculture.
Harold Stokes was an environmental activist on several campaigns. Active into his 80's, he served in various leadership roles.
In the Non-Profit Organization was the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. WMEAC has been an environmental advocacy since 1968.
In the Environmental Projects category was the White Lake Restoration. White Lake had been polluted by tannery discharge and chemical plants. It took many years of sediment removal and other actions, but the Public Advisory Council finally got White Lake delisted as an Area of Concern.
2015 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame Inductees
On May 20th, we inducted 7 people and organizations into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. We gathered at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. They were:
(Click on the name for more information)
2014 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame Inductees
The Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society is pleased to announce that the third annual class was inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.
Pictured (From Left to Right): Bill Milliken Jr. accepting for former governor William Milliken, Howard Tanner, Fred Wilder, Brad Jensen accepting for Huron Pines, & Dr. Tom Coon accepting for Michigan State University Extension.
2012 Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame Inductees
Pictured (front row left-right): Theresa Bernhardt; Mary Goodwillie Nelson, daughter of Peter Wege; Terry McCarthy, Wege Foundation; Gloria Miller; and Carol Rose who accepted the award for Robert Slingerland.
(back row left to right): Greg Moss, Ruddiman Creek Task Force; Superintendent Gene Pierce, Tuscola Intermediate School District; Tom Bailey; and Paul Steen, Huron River Watershed Council.