Land Trust honors Erickson, Mercy Medical Center

Charlie Unkefer
From left to right, John Brennan, president of Siskiyou Land Trust, retired county supervisor LaVada Erickson, Katy Chapman of Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and SLT treasurer Susie Boyd. Brennan holds one of the 2009 SLT Community Conservation Awards.

The Siskiyou Land Trust honored a local individual and a local business as “Community Conservation Heroes” during their annual membership meeting held at the Mt. Shasta Community Building on Tuesday evening, May 12.

LaVada Erickson, recently retired county supervisor and former member of the County Planning Commission, was recognized “for her 20 years of public service and long-standing commitment to protecting Siskiyou County resources,” according to a Land Trust press release.

Mercy Medical Center  Mt. Shasta was commended by the Land Trust board “for its commitment to recycling and waste reduction and for its ‘buy local’ purchasing policies.”

In receiving her award, Erickson spoke of her long struggle as a supervisor and planning commissioner to be a voice for increased environmental protection and conservation, and of the importance of maintaining our quality of life as more development comes into the county.

“LaVada Erickson’s work on the County Board shows the power of a single voice to create significant change,” said SLT treasurer Susie Boyd. “Her steadfast commitment to protecting our quality of life has helped to keep Siskiyou County the beautiful place that it is. Her example should inspire the rest of us, especially young people, to get involved and stay involved in community affairs.”

Katy Chapman received the business award on behalf of Mercy Medical Center and described the many ways in which the hospital has adopted policies to avoid creating waste products, require recycling and increase the use of local sources for the products that it needs.

Chapman noted that Mercy Mt. Shasta has an active program of employee education to improve its environmental practices, and she recommended this to other local businesses as a means of both protecting the community and reducing operating costs.

Land Trust president John Brennan congratulated the award winners. He noted that, “Mercy Medical Center shows how a smart, modern business can engage all of its employees in finding ways to reduce waste and reduce costs at the same time. Through its Ecology Committee, the hospital has found many ways to eliminate products that can’t be recycled and to direct its purchasing to local sources and thereby reduce its carbon footprint. They are striving to be a be good example in the community and they are showing that this makes good business sense.”  

About 150 supporters attended the annual membership meeting, at which the work program of the Siskiyou Land Trust was described, according to the press release.

Current Land Trust projects include continued maintenance of Sisson Meadow Park and improvements to the park for wildlife habitat and public use, development of the Spring Hill Trail in partnership with Mt. Shasta Trail Association and Coca-Cola Bottling of Mt. Shasta, and protection of Siskiyou County open space and agriculture.

It was also announced that an upcoming volunteer workday at Sisson Meadow Park is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, to continue the fight against invasive Scotch Broom around the pond.

For more information contact the Siskiyou Land Trust at 926-2259 or stop by their office in the Weed Mercantile Building on Main Street in Weed.