Bear Yuba Land Trust to honor two local conservationists with lifetime achievement awards | TheUnion.com

Bear Yuba Land Trust to honor two local conservationists with lifetime achievement awards

Submitted to The Union

The Bear Yuba Land Trust invites the community to recognize two community heroes — Joanne Hild of Sierra Streams Institute and Rick Berry of 4 Elements Earth Education — during the annual Oak Tree Bash.

Joanne Hild, Executive Director of Sierra Streams Institute, will be awarded the William "Bill" Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership and Rick Berry, Founder and Director of the Four Elements Earth Education, will receive the John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award.

"One of the reasons we moved here is because we want to make Citizen Science front and center," said Hild, Sierra Stream Institute's Executive Director for the past 18 years.

Hild has a strong connection to the place she has lived and raised her family for over 25 years. She began working at Friends of Deer Creek (now Sierra Streams Institute) as a River Scientist in February 2000 and became Executive Director in 2004. Sierra Streams Institute is a watershed monitoring, research and restoration group with a mission to link water, science and people for the benefit of human and environmental health.

"I feel a great sense of responsibility to work in partnership with the community to study and improve our environment and the health of our citizens," said Hild.

Rick Berry began with the Tracker School in 1986 at the age of 15 and has been teaching wilderness skills for 25 years. After graduating with a bachelor's degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, he tested his skills in the remote Klamath Mountain range where he studied indigenous life-ways for 12 years passed on to him by Gary Morris who had lived with Yurok Elder Calvin Rube for 20 years.

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Today, Berry teaches Earth Skills and philosophies of living one with the Earth through the organization he founded, 4 Elements Earth Education (4EEE) and its Fox Walkers program for school-aged children. The organization based at BYLT's Burton Homestead in Nevada City, immerses children, families and adults in nature while building useful skills.

"Our programs introduce Earth skills, which are a blend of the ancient arts of tracking, wilderness survival, and nature awareness," Berry said. "Through our programs, a re-thinking of our relationship to nature begins to occur — nature is not simply a 'resource' that we control as a product, but a relationship we must cultivate. Students are introduced to the world of the unseen and eternal, tapping into 'the spirit that moves in all things' as awareness and skills are woven together to serve as a foundation for creating visionary leaders."

For more information, go to BYLT.org.

Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust

Know & Go

What: BYLT’s Annual Member Meeting and Leadership Awards

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday

Where: Gold Miners Inn at 121 Bank Street Grass Valley

Tickets: $20 Members, $30 Not-Yet-Members. Wine tickets sold at check-in. Beer available at no-host beverage bar.