Each year, the prestigious Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award recognizes individuals in the community who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to aiding in the conservation, preservation, restoration and/or advocacy of Houston's waterways
Learn more about our 2022 awardees below.
Andrew "Andy" Sansom,
is one of Texas' leading conservationists. He is a former Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Executive Director of the Texas Nature Conservancy.
Dr. Sansom has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Historical Foundation, Bat Conservation International, KLRU Public Television in Austin, The National Audubon Society, The Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and The Texas Travel Industry Association. He joined the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association in Washington D.C. in 1969. He served as Environmental Coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth, Special Assistant to Secretary of Interior Rogers C.B. Morton, Director of Conservation Education at the Federal Energy Administration, and Deputy Director of the Energy Institute at the University of Houston.
His published works have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Town and City. He is the author of nine books, including Texas Lost, Texas Past, Scout the Christmas Dog, Water In Texas and Southern Plains Bison, and Resurrection of the Lost Texas Herd.
Andrew "Andy" Sansom now serves as Professor of Practice in Geography and Founder of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. He coordinates university policy and research related to freshwater resources and manages the headwaters of the San Marcos River; administers the most extensive freshwater environmental education program in Texas; supervises the training and coordination of more than 1000 volunteer water monitors in rivers and streams throughout the State. Dr. Sansom also currently serves as a Trustee of the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation.
Rachel Powers, has extensive experience as a coalition builder, executive leader, strategist, environment and sustainability champion, and informal educator, working for both nonprofit organizations and local governments. Most recently, Rachel was the Executive Director of the Citizens' Environmental Coalition for nine years after serving as a volunteer for nine years prior. CEC Houston, founded in 1971, is an alliance of almost 150 organizations doing environmental work in the Houston/Gulf Coast Region. Before working at CEC, Rachel was a Senior Environmental Planner for the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), managing projects relating to water quality (fecal contamination, dioxin, and PCBs), the Regional Flood Management Council, the Natural Resources Advisory Committee, and the Parks & Natural Areas subcommittee. Before that, she served as the Community Services Coordinator at the Harris County Flood Control District, coordinating communications, parks and trail partnerships, wildflower and tree planting projects, and departmental budget preparation. Rachel has experience managing environmental education programs, summer camps, and volunteer programs with various organizations in Texas and Massachusetts.
Rachel graduated from Rice University (B.A.) and the University of Phoenix (M.B.A.). A native of Boston, Mass., Rachel enjoys family history, volunteering, civic engagement, and embarrassing her two teenage sons.
C. Mike Garver, Mike Garver has been a significant force in cleaning up and maintaining the beautiful Buffalo Bayou.
Mike founded Texans for Clean Water in 2013 to bring attention to the floating trash spoiling the waterways in Houston. To address this problem, he suggested that a refund will be paid if frequently littered items are returned to a recycling center. This system now exists in 9 other states. He has supported litter research by creating the Texas Litter Database with Keep Texas Beautiful, a first-in-the-nation central repository for litter clean-up information throughout the state. His leadership and dedication saw success with the passage of House Bill 1884 in 2017 in the Texas Legislature. One of the mandates of HB 1884 is that those convicted of littering or illegal dumping must perform community service to clean up the waterways they were convicted of fouling. He is a passionate advocate for litter-free waterways and is proud of the nickname the Houston Chronicle gave him, "Trashman of Buffalo Bayou." Mike designed the original trash vacuum boat (Bayou Vac), built from an old 36'x12' hull in the BRH Garver Construction shop. The latest version of the Bayou Vac was also assembled in the BRH Garver Construction Shop, with Robby Robinson and Brett Farley of Buffalo Bayou Partnership doing most of the work.
A native Kentuckian, Mike has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. He was a founding board member of the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce and a founding board member of the East End Management District. Mike was an early board member and past Chairman of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. He never considers retirement, as he continues to work at his company Garver Real Estate and volunteers his time to our bayous and many other philanthropic causes. Daughters Beth Black and Gretchen Hilyard actively promote park development along our bayous.
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, has served as county commissioner for Harris County Precinct 4 since 2011. He was re-elected in 2014 and most recently on Nov. 6, 2018.
For more than 30 years, he has worked with and served the residents of Harris County Precinct 4 as an attorney, an elected judge, and now as county commissioner.
Until his appointment to Commissioners Court, Cagle served 11 years as judge of Harris County Civil Court-at-Law No. 1. Harris County voters elected him to the bench countywide in 2000 and re-elected him in 2002, 2006, and 2010.
Cagle is a graduate of Rice University with triple majors in economics, history, and managerial studies, as well as a graduate of Baylor Law School. He is married to Janet, and they have three children: Richard, Victoria, and Elizabeth.
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