Meet the 2013 Weston Award Winners

As we prepare for the 2013 Weston Awards this Saturday October 26th, we’d like to introduce this year’s Westons. Recognized for their inspiring efforts to increase walkability and make our streets and cities more accessible and more livable, this year’s award winners are:

Pam Granata

In 2003, Pam Granata created and developed a well-known and respected walking magazine called Walk About. At that time there were no magazines that focused on walking and walkability issues. Partnering with her husband, who by profession is a graphic artist, and a core group of selected health professionals, the diverse team shed new light on the issues facing pedestrians.

Now in its eleventh year, Walk About has over 400 subscribers throughout the U.S. and a great marketing director/business development director. Earlier this year the magazine received the Readers Choice Award for best walking magazine in the country; an award they hope to win again next year.

Donna Green

Donna Green earned her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University in 1987, and has been employed by the City of Portland since 1990.  Donna has worked to encourage safe walking in various capacities; first as a project manager in the Traffic Calming Program, and next in the Transportation Options Division (now the Active Transportation Division), where she worked with the visually impaired community to install accessible pedestrian signals and participated in a pilot project for curb ramp detectable warnings.  With the advent of the SmartTrips Program, Donna created and was fortunate enough to lead the Senior Strolls program from 2005 - 2013, the program's final year.  Donna found that in addition to the many health benefits that her walkers enjoyed from the strolls, participants often gave up short driving trips for walking trips and also gained a newfound appreciation of the many great neighborhoods and places to walk in Portland as well as learned how to navigate around the City using TriMet.  Her efforts have helped many people discover the benefits of walking as a means of transportation.

Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington

Councilor Harrington has been a vocal advocate for pedestrian issues and livability for many years. Kathryn was chosen because of her steadfast support and instrumental role in serving as a liaison for Metro's Regional Active Transportation Plan, her history of support for increased walking facilities in corners of Washington County that need it the most, and her commitment to helping Washington County reach more diverse populations in public outreach while planning for road design.

She's also been an ardent proponent for local transportation improvements; she led a panel discussion on walkability at the recent Walkability Strategy Summit and is a familiar face at many Washington County-based citizen transportation forums. Oregon Walks is also greatly appreciative of Kathryn's focus on improving public outreach to new populations in Washington County, as demonstrated by her support for the ¡Vamonos! project. Councilor Harrington is a shining example of how elected officials can help advance walkability on a regional scale.

Bandana Shrestha

As the Community Engagement Director for AARP Oregon, Bandana Shrestha has worked with Oregon Walks in many ways to further the conversation around aging in place and walkability. She helped ensure that AARP Oregon joined Oregon Walks and local activists in calling for refunding the 136th Ave. sidewalk program in Portland, supporting the changes to ConnectOregon funds that will provide millions in additional funding for pedestrian infrastructure, supporting the Crosswalk Safety Act, and many more. She also served on the planning committee for the recent Walkability Strategy Summit in Washington County. She also lives in Clackamas County and hopes to foster more walking/aging advocacy in her backyard in the years to come.

Ray Polani

A long-time activist for transit, bicycle, and pedestrian issues, Ray started riding a bicycle to work in Portland in 1961, long before the streams of bike commuters on Portland’s streets became commonplace. As a savings and loan officer biking over Terwilliger Hill, he attracted quite a bit of attention. 
Seeing the problems associated with sprawling suburban development in American cities, he became an activist for better public transit. He advocated for light rail and advanced transit centers, which have also since become realities in Portland.

Polani is co-chair of Citizens for Better Transit and director of Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates. As a visionary advocate who helped advance the case for good public transit systems and safe connections for bicycles and pedestrians, Ray’s contributions to local planning and infrastructure discussions will be felt for generations to come. It is with great honor that we award Ray the Weston Lifetime Achievement Award for his many efforts and accomplishments.

 

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at the 2013 Weston Awards. You can still buy your tickets here. If you have any questions, contact info@oregonwalks.org for more information.

 

The 2013 Weston Awards

Saturday October 26, 2013

6:00 – 9:00 PM

North Star Ballroom

635 N. Killingworth Ct. in Portland

 

More Info: http://bit.ly/1bCXAMh

Tickets: http://bit.ly/18Y8iuM