Recognizing remarkable individuals for their award-winning achievements.

Recently, three exceptional individuals affiliated with Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC) have gained well-deserved recognition for their remarkable contributions in honoring, caring for, and safeguarding our shared watershed. Their efforts have earned them prestigious awards that highlight their dedication to environmental stewardship.

Mark Wright - Board Member, Development & Communications Committee Chair and Rockville Environmental Excellence Award Recipient

Mark Wright, an IPC Board Member and Chair of the Development and Communications Committee, has been honored with the Rockville Environmental Excellence Award. This esteemed accolade, granted by the Rockville Environment Commission, serves as a testament to Mark's unwavering commitment to improving Rockville's environment. As the leader of the green team at Christ Episcopal Church Rockville, Mark works alongside a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to fulfill the church's call as responsible custodians of the Earth. Through education, impactful projects on church grounds, and raising awareness in the community, Mark's team plays a vital role in restoring clean water and air. Noteworthy accomplishments include the successful design and installation of two Pollinator Gardens, a collaborative effort involving Christ Church and Christ Episcopal School. By engaging volunteers from both communities, spanning across generations, they foster a sense of collective responsibility for the watershed's future.

Jodi Rose - Executive Director and Maryland's Watershed Champion

Jodi Rose, the fearless Executive Director of IPC, has been rightfully recognized as Maryland's Watershed Champion by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. This incredible honor acknowledges Jodi's influential leadership and unwavering dedication to cleaner waters and streams. Jodi's exceptional work has served as an inspiration for numerous individuals and faith communities to take meaningful action towards environmental preservation. With a background in biochemistry and extensive experience in the environmental consulting field, Jodi's passion for the intersection of faith and the environment led her to shift into the nonprofit sector. Since assuming the role of IPC's Executive Director in 2013, Jodi has spearheaded remarkable growth, expanding the team, increasing revenues, and forging partnerships with hundreds of congregations. Her invaluable contributions will be celebrated at the upcoming Maryland Taste of the Chesapeake event, where she will be honored for her extraordinary achievements.

Philip Downey - Volunteer Extraordinaire and Award for Volunteer Service Recipient

Phil Downey, a dedicated volunteer with IPC's Trees for Sacred Places Program, has been presented with the distinguished Award for Volunteer Service at Casey Trees' Canopy Awards for his outstanding efforts. As the lead volunteer for the Laudato Trees Team, an initiative of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington Care for Creation Committee, Phil embodies the principles of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si'. Through the Laudato Trees Team, Phil and his fellow volunteers actively engage faith communities, encouraging them to plant trees on their properties. By collaborating with Casey Trees' urban foresters, facilitating dialogues, and expediting necessary actions, Phil's impeccable determination has resulted in the planting of over 600 trees at churches and schools over the past two years. Phil humbly acknowledges that this achievement is a collective endeavor involving numerous volunteers, pastors, church workers, and Casey Trees' urban foresters.

"We were given a beautiful and almost perfect Creation - it's up to us to sustain it."
~ Phil Downey

These remarkable individuals from IPC have set a shinning example for sustaining Creation in their inspiring dedication to protecting and preserving our shared watershed. Their exceptional achievements not only showcase the power of collective action but also serve as a reminder of our responsibility to sustain and cherish the precious Creation we have been entrusted with. Let us draw inspiration from their stories and join hands in safeguarding our environment for generations to come.