Williams and YouCAN awarded annual County Environmental Honors

Pictured above (L to R): Bill Emminger, Benton County; Tom Hubbard, City of Corvallis; Pat Hare, City of Adair
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Julie Williams and YouCAN received the  Benton County Environmental Awards at the 6th annual Environmental Issues Advisory Committee public forum on October 25, 2018 at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

Julie Williams has been an advocate for community solar since 2001, and is the founder of Seeds for the Sol: Community Solar, Giving Power to the People.

Seeds for the Sol is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that makes it easier for low- and middle-income homeowners to afford solar systems. Seeds for the Sol help homeowners finance solar arrays using zero-interest loans, as well as tax incentives. Homeowners’ out-of-pocket cost are typically less than $2,200, plus a $150 processing fee. In addition, Seeds for the Sol provides homeowners with an experienced solar mentor, as well as contracts and a list of local installers.

Additionally, Williams is a teacher at Corvallis High School. Her concern for the impending climate crisis has motivated her to create and teach the course, “Sustainability and Society.”

The Benton County Environmental Issues Advisory Committee is honored to award Julie Williams with the 2018 Individual Environmental Award.

YouCAN, short for Youth Climate Action Now Chapter, was formed to promote climate action in Corvallis. YouCAN membership includes thirteen youth leaders, including Gwen Gray, Shoshanna Groom, Jessica Hovermale, Sarah McCullough, Linus O'Brien, Sage Rasmussen, Connor Robson, Aravind Sriram, and Garak Ward. Their primary focus is drafting and passing a Climate Recovery Ordinance. In the process of working toward this goal, they are involved in city government through attending government meetings, and meeting and engaging in dialogue with decision-makers. Their work toward a low-carbon future is work that also calls for improved air and water quality, and energy savings.

Additionally, YouCAN is involved in outreach and public relations through tabling at public events, painting a Corvallis climate mural, and gathering signatures on a petition. The group’s concern about environmental issues, and advocacy for a low-carbon future, is bringing attention to a very important issue among youth in the City of Corvallis and Benton County.

The Benton County Environmental Issues Advisory Committee is honored to award the Youth Climate Action Now Chapter, also known as YouCAN, with the 2018 Organizational Environmental Award.

The Environmental Issues Advisory Committee (EIAC) advises and assists the Benton County Board of Commissioners on environmental issues and policies. Each year the EIAC requests nominations for individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement and support of the county’s environmental goals, in the areas of improved air quality, water quality, energy savings, environmental health, healthy ecosystems, natural habitats and sustainable resources.