The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment today announced the winner of the 2012 Anthony Grassroots Prize, an annual Earth Day award recognizing an outstanding example of grassroots environmental stewardship.
The Foundation honored SCOPE for its 25 years of volunteer service in the Santa Clarita Valley and its efforts to promote, protect and preserve the environment and quality of life in this Northern L.A. County community of 250,000 residents.
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SCOPE provides a vital forum where local issues involving the environment, ecology or quality of life can be heard and discussed; and promotes community planning and design dedicated to aesthetics, environmental sensitivity and consideration of community goals and needs.
The Rose Foundation awarded SCOPE the 2012 Anthony Prize for its inspirational ‘David vs. Goliath’ advocacy to protect the Santa Clarita Valley from the mammoth Newhall Ranch development – a proposed 60,000 person city slated to be built on the Los Angeles-Ventura County line.
According to a release from SCOPE, the 12,000 acre Newhall site would be largest single development project in California history, yet is located on one of the most pristine reaches of the Santa Clara River, Los Angeles County’s last free-flowing wild river. The area threatened by the Newhall development is home to over 117 threatened, endangered or sensitive plant and wildlife species or communities. The project would result in filling 20 miles of on-site streams and the valleys that contain them with 208 million cubic yards of fill material taken from the hill tops – enough soil to fill dump trucks and wrap them around the earth’s equator over three times. In addition, the project would channelize five miles of the main stem of the Santa Clara River, building homes in an area where the river has historically flowed during major storm events.
The Anthony Grassroots Prize was endowed by Juliette Anthony, a lifelong environmental activist who has received wide recognition for her work in protecting the Santa Monica Mountains, banning the toxic gasoline additive MTBE, promoting solar power and publicizing the negative environmental impacts of ethanol. The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment supports community-based initiatives to protect the environment and public health. Rose’s focus includes grassroots activism, watershed protection, environmental justice and consumer rights. Rose also administers New Voices Are Rising, a youth leadership development and environmental justice advocacy training program.