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Announcing the Frances Allou Gershwin Local Social Action Award

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 18th Annual Muddy River Symposium‘s inaugural Frances Allou Gershwin Local Social Action Award. For their impressive study of “Food Waste and Climate Change Implications,” the team of Joshua Luedke, Sammy Riadi, Alison Hrivnak and Grace Raymond tested levels of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food waste at Emmanuel College and Wentworth Institute of Technology.

The Muddy River Symposium was created by Fran Gershwin, Chair Emerita of the Muddy River Restoration Project Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee, and Professor Ellen Faszewski, former Director of Environmental Science at Colleges of the Fenway. Acutely aware of the urgency of bringing the next generation of environmental stewards into the work of restoring the Muddy River and its greenspace parks, Fran began to visit classes. Her goal was to engage ecosystem advocates, especially for a historic riverway that sits right at doorsteps of the Colleges and that had, for decades, suffered from massive flooding, environmental degradation and deferred maintenance.

Dr. Faszewski recalls that in 2007, “Fran saw the Symposium as an opportunity to share the complex goals and challenges of the Restoration Project so students could understand its multiple goals, challenges and complexities.” Fran led student tours; shared detailed maps and graphics; brought Brookline representatives, Boston-area elected officials, state senators and congresspeople, River advocates, and environmental stewards into classes. She welcomed COF students at attend MMOC meetings.

The MMOC honors Fran’s legacy of legacy of extraordinarily skillful, unwaveringly generous, wise, collaborative, and creative leadership. The Muddy River Restoration Project is a testament to her work and her vision in full measure.