We’re excited to announce that Marijke Hecht, our Director of Education, is an honoree of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s 40 Under 40 awards and the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project’s 40 Under 40.
Marijke leads the Parks Conservancy’s efforts to use the parks as classrooms for people of all ages and backgrounds. This includes the redevelopment of the Environmental Center at Frick Park and the design and installation of over a dozen outdoor learning spaces for families. She is also responsible for managing the Parks Conservancy’s educational programming and volunteer activities. “Marijke is an advocate for Pennsylvania’s environment, and she is a great asset to the Parks Conservancy’s management,” says our President and CEO, Meg Cheever.
Prior to joining the Parks Conservancy, Marijke was the Director of TreeVitalize Pittsburgh with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where she raised over $3.9 million and managed the planting of more than 3,300 new trees with over 1,500 volunteers. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, where she led the organization’s community forestry and rain barrel program and advocated for the $7.7 million Nine Mile Run stream restoration project. She received a Master of Science in Botany from the Field Naturalist Program and the University of Vermont and Bachelor of Arts in Nutritional Anthropology from Hampshire College.
“This year’s 40 Under 40 honorees truly embody the spirit of this award every day through their volunteerism, civic participation, and professional contributions to Pittsburgh,” says Erin Molchany, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project. “These individuals are not only making our community better through their efforts, but they also inspire all of us to be more generous and active contributors in making our region vibrant.”
Selected from a nomination pool of more than 200 candidates, this year’s honorees were chosen by an independent panel of twelve judges, comprised of former winners, business professionals, and civic leaders. Winners were chosen based on their passion, commitment, visibility, diversity, and overall impact on the region.
The 40 winners will be guests of honor at a celebration in November. The event, sponsored by Carlow University and Subaru, includes a tribute to this year’s “40 Under 40″ honorees, music, entertainment, and food and drink from local restaurants. The winners will also be featured in the November Issue of PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council selected 40 Pennsylvanians under the age of 40 as recipients of its 40 Under 40 Awards. Recipients will be honored at PEC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Civic Club of Harrisburg on September 22. Nearly 100 environmental professionals and volunteers were nominated for this statewide honor. Nominees include volunteers and professionals in a diverse range of environmental fields throughout the entire Commonwealth, including planning, research, education, advocacy.
“PEC has reflected much on our past successes during our 40th Anniversary, and recognizing this next generation of environmental leaders is our way of looking to the future with a great deal of excitement,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of PEC.