The Signs of Sustainability (SOS) project is a citizen-led initiative created to show gratitude to our friends and neighbors in the Rondout Valley who demonstrate sustainable practices. Sustainability is defined by this project as stewardship of our homes, families, and communities in harmony with nature, and preservation of the wild, agricultural and cultural resources that allow us to flourish. Since the SOS project began in October 2012, the awards have recognized 31 local individuals and organizations by documenting what they have done. Each year the past recipients of the award are invited to join in the selection process.
Manna Jo Green
It is fitting to honor Manna Jo Greene this month, right after we have honored Dr. Martin Luther King, as she began her work as a social activist as a teenager working alongside Dr. King and others for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. This work launched her trajectory as one of the most influential social and environmental activists in New York.
Manna Jo has focused her energy on community in many ways, most recently as a councilperson to the Rosendale Town Board since 2006. She represents the viewpoint of many in Rosendale who believe that collaborative problem solving is essential to a thriving community. In an effort to connect the citizens of Rosendale and the greater Hudson Valley with one another, she created an online, bi-monthly calendar that serves well over 3,000 people and is a must for anyone who wants to know about and plug into the diverse web of events and organizations that bring action on issues ranging from social activism to renewable energy and much more.
Even longer than her community service as a councilperson, Manna Jo has been the champion of environmental issues, working alongside Pete Seeger and the many others who call attention to our need to be stewards of our local natural resources. Her current position as Environmental Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is a suitable continuation of her early advocacy for recycling, green waste disposal, sustainable agriculture and green energy. At Clearwater she oversees the mission of preserving and protecting the ecosystem of the Hudson River. In this position she also works to build awareness of the dangers of The Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.
Because of Manna Jo’s various areas of activism she clearly sees the interconnectedness of all things. Water, food, energy, people—positive practices in any one of these areas positively impacts all the others. While Manna Jo has received many local awards and recognitions, her actions register on a larger scale, impacting a region at least as large as the Hudson Valley watershed. Manna Jo is symbolic kin to Johnny Appleseed—planting seeds of sustainability in a wide circle around us and cultivating a harvest of positive change. Thank you Manna Jo!
To sign up for Manna Jo’s online calendar, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be put on her email list. 845-265-8080 x 7113. Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Direction, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
–Lisa Jones, Signs of Sustainability Coordinator