Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

Steward of the Year Award 2014

LDS Earth Stewardship is an organization dedicated to educating both members and non-members of the LDS Church about doctrine concerning responsible stewardship of the earth. As such, the organization encourages individuals and communities to contribute to conservation efforts and commit to greener living. Once a year, the LDS Earth Stewardship Board of Directors requests nominations for individuals who have made exceptional efforts and shown influential leadership in earth stewardship. Out of these nominees, the board of directors chooses a single person whose work they feel is exemplary of responsible stewardship.

 

The LDS Earth Stewardship board of directors is pleased to announce that they have selected John R. Curtis, Mayor of Provo, to receive the Steward of theYear Award for 2014. Mayor Curtis has made outstanding contributions to environmental efforts in the Provo area since he took office in 2010.

 

 

 

Mayor Curtis was quite touched to receive this award. In his usual self-deprecating humility, the mayor said that of all of the awards he has been given, this is the one he feels he least deserves, especially in the company of so many people who do such great work for the environment, including the present members of Provo’s Bike Committee. But Curtis’ work has not been insignificant. Even the work of the Bike Committee that he deferred to would have been near impossible without his support.

 

His former and ongoing efforts include,
  • Rewriting landscaping laws to allow water-wise planting
  • Instituting opt-in recycling, which has greatly increased participation
  • Arranging tax credits for businesses that recycle or use recycled materials
  • Carrying out an information policy supporting environmental stewardship through social media, blogs, emails, the city newsletter, and editorials
  • Creation of Citizen’s Sustainability Committee (2011)
  • Approval of Bicycle Master Plan (2014)
  • Approval of Bus Rapid Transit (2014)
  • Assisted in and planned Transit-Oriented Development
  • Support of a joint resolution with the city council to Utah legislators for supporting Tier-3 fuels (2014)
  • Several actions designed to improve air quality in Provo:
    • Appointment of Mayor’s Sustainability Adviser (2011)
    • Creation of Employee’s Sustainability Committee (2014)
    • Anti-Idling Campaigns (2011, 2012, 2014)
    • Approval of policy for all municipal employees on clean air (2014)
    • Citizens’ Clear Air Six-Point Pledge & Pin Campaign Run (2013, 2014)

 

The mayor was awarded a commemorative plaque; in addition, in the spirit of conservation and knowing the mayor’s penchant for unique socks, he was gifted a pair depicting the arches of Utah’s Arches National Park. LDS Earth Stewardship hopes that in honoring the mayor with this award, he will continue his excellent work in stewardship and that others will follow his example.

 

The board would like to thank the three other nominees for their efforts in earth stewardship: Ron Hellstern, Soren Simonson, and Ginger Wooley. These nominees, along with Mayor Curtis, are all examples of strength and perseverance in the struggle to promote responsible earth stewardship.

  • Melanie McCoard says:

    OK. Evidently, Mayor Curtis won an award for his “outstanding contributions to environmental efforts in the Provo area.” And here’s the list of his supposed accomplishments:
    “Rewriting landscaping laws to allow water-wise planting.” — Nope. The Council writes the laws. City code has always allowed water-wise planting. City properties still practice water-wasting practices.
    “Instituting opt-in recycling, which has greatly increased participation” — A city-wide recycling program was neither Curtis’ idea nor his cause. Provo instituted it only after several adjacent cities did so, and after much public outcry.
    “Arranging tax credits for businesses that recycle or use recycled materials” — the federal gov’t provides the tax credits.
    “Carrying out an information policy supporting environmental stewardship through social media, blogs, emails, the city newsletter, and editorials.” — Insufficient mention on these social media outlets about the big three– water conservation, (especially protecting the city’s watershed in Provo Canyon); sustainable energy, (including UMPA’s policies. Curtis is the vice chair of the UMPA board. Umpa’s 20 year IRP was completed under Curtis’ watch — without ANY notice to the public of what that plan included, a total failure to inform the public of critical policy-making about our power production.
    “Creation of Citizen’s Sustainability Committee (2011).” OK, he did create the committee, but he won’t appoint people to the committee who might raise uncomfortable issues, and he controls what the committee may or may not, study, and recommend.
    “Approval of Bicycle Master Plan (2014).” Oh, please! He cannot take credit for this. The Bicycle Committee did the work, and the Council approved the plan.
    “Approval of Bus Rapid Transit (2014)” Again.
    “Assisted in and planned Transit-Oriented Development” — The zone was virtually complete before Curtis took office.
    “Support of a joint resolution with the city council to Utah legislators for supporting Tier-3 fuels (2014)” Yep, a resolution to support a thing that is bound to pass the legislature anyway.
    “Several actions designed to improve air quality in Provo:Appointment of Mayor’s Sustainability Adviser (2011)Creation of Employee’s Sustainability Committee (2014)Anti-Idling Campaigns (2011, 2012, 2014)” No, no, and no.There are actions that the city could take, and Curtis has failed to take ANY of them. “Approval of policy for all municipal employees on clean air “– It’s a policy statement? That’s it? A statement that clean air is a good thing? “Citizens’ Clear Air Six-Point Pledge & Pin Campaign Run (2013, 2014)” — Oh, yes, the pin program!
    1 min · Edited · Like

    Melanie McCoard Look, we have terrible air, a finite amount of clean water, and a very limited amount open space in this city. To make things better, some serious measures have to be taken– reducing the number of cars on the roads, requiring polluting industries to change their practices, taking action to protect our watershed, placing limits on development and growth, and working to get some of the open land left in this town into public hands. I do not see that Curtis has made any substantive moves towards those goals, and in fact some of his policies and plans are in direct contradiction to those goals. Curtis is a effective mayor– he works hard and has some real people skills– but to site him as an “environmental steward” is worse than a bad call. It is almost a joke.

    • Josh F says:

      Hi Melanie,
      The board of directors received Steward of the Year nominations for four people, and out of those four they chose the one they reasoned to have done the most for the local environment and for the health of the community. The public was open to send in nominations for several weeks, and the award and the request for nominations were publicized on Facebook, Google+, and this blog ahead of time (and again several days before the nominee was decided). You are reacting to the award now, over a month later; if you had submitted the name of someone who had done MORE than Mayor Curtis when nominations were open, then you would have had ample time to communicate your opinions to the board. You might have had time to find and provide sources for your claims, for example.

      You are more than welcome to nominate someone next Fall, and you can direct your concerns to the board at lds.earth.stewardship@gmail.com.