NEW CITY – County Executive Ed Day and the Division of Environmental Resources presented the 24th County Executive’s Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award to Nanuet resident Gale Pisha during a ceremony at Kennedy Dells County Park in New City.
“While we have faced many challenges this year, one of the unexpected benefits of our situation is that many more residents are exploring our county parks and other natural environments that they may not have taken the time to visit in the past,” said County Executive Ed Day. “This year’s winner, Gale Pisha, has adapted to our challenges with ‘virtual hikes’ and ‘campfires.’”
The virtual events developed by Gale events have seen dozens of participants join together online after a day of safe and socially distant hikes to share experiences, tips on places to explore and foster a deeper connection to each other and to nature.
“Gale’s leadership was instrumental in defeating the proposed desalinization plant in Haverstraw that would have taken drinking water from the Hudson River. More recently she has served as Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter where she focuses on reviewing new legislation and helps to set statewide priorities for the 54,000-member group,” said County Executive Day. “And while Gale is deeply involved in statewide issues, she takes that experience and knowledge and applies it here at home.”
A serviceberry tree was planted in her honor at Kennedy Dells County Park.
Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award Winner Gale Pisha spoke to the connection between the environment and all major sectors of life urging that, “we as officials, activists, and citizens must keep in mind the environmental relationships to everything else both in our personal lives and societal decisions as we act each day.”
Legislator Harriet Cornell, Chairwoman of the Environmental Committee of the Rockland County Legislature presented Gale with a Distinguished Service Award and said, “Gale epitomizes the best and most dedicated of community volunteers and has a wonderful sense of humor as well. She lives and breathes environmental stewardship, with never a thought of public recognition for herself. What an honor to know and applaud her!”
“Gale is known for her patience and willingness to listen to every viewpoint, even with the most complicated and murky situations. Rockland and all of New York State are extremely lucky to have a leader and advocate like Gale Pisha watching out for our natural environment. And so, on behalf of the people of Rockland, and the future generations of Rocklanders to come, I thank you for your dedication and hard work preserving and protecting this County,” concluded County Executive Day.