Each year the Northeast Environmental Partners give out two leadership awards — one to a longtime leader and one to an emerging leader — recognizing the importance of engaging a range of advocates in the work to protect Pennsylvania’s environment. These extraordinary Pennsylvanians were honored at the Northeast Environmental Partnership Awards dinner on November 3, 2022.
Thomas P. Shelburne Award
The Shelburne award for lifetime achievement was presented to Michael Bedrin of Luzerne County, for more than 35 years of service and commitment to Pennsylvania’s environment. He has worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1986, serving as Chief Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection from 1999 to 2004, and as Regional Director of DEP’s Northeast Regional Office from 2004 until his retirement in 2022.
During his time at DEP, Mr. Bedrin effectively brought together community interests, nonprofit organizations, advocates for local watersheds and individuals concerned with resource protection. He went above and beyond his duties at DEP to further enhance and complement the mission of the agency by effectively increasing awareness and appreciation of the environmental wealth in Northeastern PA through community partnerships and successful projects.
Emerging Leader Award
This year’s Emerging Leader Award was given to Mitchell Kirby of Lackawanna County. Mitchell co-founded the Sustainable Life Society at Scranton Preparatory School and recruited members to participate in projects including invasive species removal and native tree and shrub plantings along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and the Lackawanna River and its tributaries.
In total, Mitchell volunteered over 200 hours of his time and demonstrated a passion for environmental issues and strong leadership capabilities. He will continue pursuing environmental work as an environmental engineering student at the University of Southern California.