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Omega Awards $10,000 Grant To Scenic Hudson, Largest Environmental Group Focused On Hudson River Valley

Omega Elevates Environmental Stewardship with 2nd Annual Leadership in Sustainable Education Award

RHINEBECK, NY – Omega Institute, home of the award-winning Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), today announced the second recipient of their Annual Leadership in Sustainable Education Award. The award recognizes nonprofit peers who exemplify leadership in sustainable education and who share Omega’s commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. This year, Omega recognizes Scenic Hudson, an organization working to protect and restore the Hudson River and its landscape. Scenic Hudson will be honored with the award at Omega’s annual Where We Go From Here conference, October 2–4, 2013.

“Last year, Omega created the Leadership in Sustainable Education Award to further our commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are thrilled this year to advance the conversation around sustainability and environmental protection by awarding the second annual award to Scenic Hudson,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega and visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living.

Founded four years ago, the OCSL originated as the first green building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification, the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. The OCSL has since evolved into an environmental leader, offering programs that teach the regenerative environmental practices modeled by the building. Omega is integrating similar designs into other facilities on campus. The new office of the  Omega’s Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) is the first commercial project in the United States to meet Passive House certification standards. The OWLC operates using very little energy and the space is designed to reduce heating costs by 75%.

“A true crusader for the Hudson Valley for 50 years, Scenic Hudson has been fighting day in and day out for the protection and restoration of the Hudson River. They have a strong emphasis on educating the community on the importance of the natural world and living by an environmental ethic,” concluded Backus.

“Omega is a world renowned institution that brings together people concerned with the environment and sustainable living. It’s a great honor for me to accept this award on behalf of all the people who make Scenic Hudson’s success possible. The support and partnership Omega is providing to us will inspire and catalyze our work to make the Hudson Valley a model of sustainable living in an ever-evolving world,” said Ned Sullivan, president of Scenic Hudson.

Scenic Hudson is credited with saving the Storm King Mountain from a proposed power plant and with launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement in the 1960s. The largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley, the organization uses a combination of tactics, including land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools, to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public, and preserve the valley's inspiring beauty and natural resources.

In addition to the $10,000 grant, Scenic Hudson will also receive an organizational development grant for a strategic planning retreat at Omega, to help strengthen their organization and further its mission.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 200 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.eOmega.org

About Scenic Hudson—Celebrating Our 50th Anniversary in 2013
Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. A crusader for the Hudson Valley since 1963, today we have more than 25,000 ardent supporters and are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 60 parks, preserves, and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved over 30,000 acres. www.sh50.org and www.scenichudson.org

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OMEGA GRANT TO SCENIC HUDSON 2013 Press Release--For Immediate Release.pdf