Vote today – Urban Waters Team is in the top four for People’s Choice Award!

WASHINGTON — Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager Alice Ewen and her fellow Urban Waters Team members have been selected as one of the top 4 teams in the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals People’s Choice Awards.

From more than 350 nominations, only 32 finalists were selected for the prestigious award bestowed by the Partnership for Public Service to reward excellence across Federal agencies. On September 1st the field for the People’s Choice Award narrowed from twelve to four, and the Urban Waters Team, recognized for their efforts to clean up urban waterways and revitalize surrounding lands, has made it into the Final Four!

Through the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, the Forest Service forged an innovative national collaboration with 14 federal agencies to transform neglected watersheds into community assets, aligning with the agency’s strategic goal of delivering benefits to the public. The Urban Waters Team supports local, state, and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and philanthropies by sharing knowledge and resources, and avoiding duplication to more effectively conserve and restore rivers and watersheds, promote land restoration, increase recreation access, grow environmental education and awareness, and enhance local economic opportunities..

Despite modest resources, the program is active in more than 250 locations nationwide. The Forest Service leads interagency collaboration in five locations (Baltimore, Northwest Indiana, Seattle, Denver, and the greater Philadelphia region) and provides dedicated “Urban Waters Ambassadors” to facilitate and organize each local collaborative. For example, in Baltimore, the Northern Research Station Baltimore Field Station leads the Urban Waters Team in restoring blighted land, removing abandoned housing, and contributing to greening projects including urban agriculture and forestry.

Now the Urban Waters Team’s work could be recognized with a People’s Choice Award! The winner of People’s Choice will be determined by the voting between now and September 15th. Anyone can vote. Once each day. Check the box. Click Submit. Done.

As finalists, this work is being raised up alongside the delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria and the development of the next generation of prosthetics for amputees. Help support our agency’s excellent work by casting your vote for Surabhi Shah and the Urban Waters Team here. Winners will be announced on September 27th.


(Left to Right) Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager Alice Ewen, member of the interagency Urban Waters team honored by the Partnership for Public Service for their efforts to clean up urban waterways and revitalize surrounding lands; Surabhi Shah and Roy Simon, both from the EPA. Forest Service photo by Linda Heath.