ALTON -The Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club, located at 112 Front Street in Alton, is celebrating Christine Favilla for her 20 years of service as the Three Rivers Project Coordinator. Christine came on board in April of 2001 after moving back to the region with her family from Durango Colorado where she graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Sociology and Environmental Policy. The Three Rivers Project was in its infancy when Favilla was hired by the Group’s Executive Committee. The Three Rivers Project focuses on environmental education and advocacy around protecting the region’s big rivers, the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri as well as wetlands and open space, clean renewable energy and sustainable communities. Over the years Favilla has been a staunch defender of the environment and has worked on issues ranging from Federal Clean Water Policy to community gardens.
Accolades from across the region and state have been streaming in.
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Longtime Sierra Club members, Wayne and Jen Politsch, congratulated Christine on her two decades of work for the Club. “During this time the world has become more complex, uncertain, and troubled. Nevertheless, Christine continued to inspire and nudge individuals and communities to see “the big picture and avoid “business-as-usual thinking”. She jump-started the notion of backyard and community gardens in southwestern Illinois- encouraging us to plant everything from vegetables to native species. As a community activist, she not only generated partnerships with schools, organizations, and city leaders but also invited those without a voice or resources to the table. Always diplomatic but when necessary, she would “speak truth to power”. A special thanks for 20 years of championing the people, plants, animals, and all things necessary for a vibrant and healthy region to grow and flourish.”
John Chick, Principal Scientist/Field Station Director, Illinois Natural History Survey, Great Rivers Field Station in Alton commented; “Christine has been a wonderful partner to work with. My staff and I have been involved in many education and outreach events with her, including High School programs, Earth Day events, and Our River Day. She has also provided excellent and information-packed presentations to our NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate Students.”
Together, Christine and Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street, have planned community-wide annual events such as the Mississippi Earthtones Festival, the Green Gift Bazaar, and region-wide trash clean-ups that many locals plan their calendars around. McGibany commented that “Christine has been a treasured colleague since the day we met; she understands the immense benefits of collaboration and always dedicates herself to our partnerships 100%. Her commitment to creating a healthy environment is impressive and contagious!”
“Christine has worked to build a very exciting community of partnerships and is always coming up with new ideas to make Alton and Madison County a cleaner, healthier place to live and work,” said Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. “She has worked to help thousands of community members play a part in protecting places they love, our great Mississippi River, and the planet we all share.”
A public celebration will be held in honor of Favilla’s service once it is safe to do so.
For more information on the Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club go to:
Or call 618-433-1807.