Omega Center for Sustainable Living

Leadership Award in Sustainability Education

Omega is committed to helping people learn through unique innovative experiences. This award acknowledges other nonprofits who share our commitment to the environment and exemplify leadership in sustainability education. Recipients receive a $10,000 cash award and an organizational development grant for a planning retreat at Omega.



The OCSL's 2017 Leadership Award in Sustainability Education went to Soul Fire Farm Institute. "We are honored to recognize Soul Fire Farm Institute as a nonprofit that is making a significant impact in the Hudson Valley region. Their work to further equity in the food system is groundbreaking and pivotal,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega and visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. “Soul Fire Farm Institute’s innovative work combines sustainable farming, public education, and strategic development support for grassroots activists.” Learn more

Learn about Soul Fire Farm's mission to eliminate racism and injustice in the food system.

And check out Van Jones giving a shout out to Soul Fire Farm during the 2017 Being Fearless Conference at Omega.


The OCSL's 2015 Leadership Award in Sustainability Education went to Poughkeepsie Farm Project. Poughkeepsie Farm Project cultivates a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Located in the City of Poughkeepsie, the farm grows fresh vegetables and fruit for its CSA, trains future farmers, provides hands-on educational programs, and improves access to healthy locally-grown food. Learn more.

Discover Poughkeepsie Farm Project's educational programming for youth, educators, and the community.


The 2014 Leadership Award in Sustainability Education was awarded to Groundwork Hudson Valley. For more than 10 years Groundwork Hudson Valley has led the way in the lower Hudson Valley to help transform underserved communities throughout the region into being more livable and environmentally sustainable places. They do this through programs directly involving local residents, focusing particularly on youth. Learn more.

Learn about Ground Work Hudson Valley's Science Barge, a floating environmental education center.  


The second annual Leadership Award in Sustainability Education recognized Scenic Hudson, an organization working to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majectic landscape. A crusader for the Hudson Valley since 1963, Scenic Hudson is credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement. Through a number of inititives, they work to open up river access to the public and preserve the valley's inspiring beauty and natural resources. Read the press release.   

Check out Scenic Hudson's educational advocacy campaigns. 

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (2012)

Omega awarded the first OCSL Leadership Award in Sustainability Education to the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. A longtime leader in sustainability education in the Hudson Valley, Omega's home, Clearwater has been active in protecting the environment by inspiring, educating, and activating people. With programs like the Next Generation Legacy Project, the Green Cities Initiative, and the opportunity for the public to learn about the Hudson River in programs on its two boats—Clearwater and Mystic Whaler—Clearwater carries forward Pete Seeger's dream to develop new leaders to put the "eco" back into "economy." Read the press release.

Learn about Hudson River Sloop Clearwater's Young Men and Young Women at the Helm, a youth empowerment educational program.