Carlin Anderson, far right, founder of the Herndon Environmental Network, has been named a finalist for the Cox Conserves Heroes, which comes with a prize of $10,000 for the network.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
Herndon When Herndon resident Carlin Anderson was looking for opportunities to volunteer, she wanted her efforts to go to helping the environment on a local and global level. She wasn’t satisfied with the existing opportunities, so she took the next step, founding the Herndon Environmental Network.
“I was worried about the impact that human beings are having on the planet, and I felt a strong need to do my part to preserve it for my kids,” Anderson said. “From the beginning, the entire community, including the town, has been very supportive and we’ve made some great strides.”
The Herndon Environmental Network held its first event in April 2012, spending an afternoon cleaning the stream across from the Fortnightly Library. Since then, they have forayed into everything from composting to combating food waste.
A year and a half after its founding, the network has grown from five members to more than 100 members. Since its founding, the group has done about one event per month.
Now Anderson has been nominated as a finalist for the Cox Conserves Heroes, and has an opportunity to make a big difference in the local community. Cox nominated three finalists from Virginia, one from Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Northern Virginia. If Anderson is named a winner, the Herndon Environmental Network will receive $10,000 to use for local conservation projects.
“I’ve got a lot of ideas about what we could do with the money, and of course we’re open to hearing suggestions from the members and the community,” Anderson said. “I’m interested in getting some community garden plots in Herndon, and we’re also looking at ways to start recycling at the public parks around Herndon. We definitely want to do something significant, and hopefully that’s a decision everyone can make together.”
Barbara Welsh, vice president of the network, says she admires Anderson’s ability to get things done, which is helpful when it comes to tackling projects.
“I like the chance to make a difference locally. I think when you get involved in the bigger organizations, you can wonder where your efforts and money are going,” she said. “But with a smaller organization like ours, we can make a difference and see the results firsthand. I like that feeling.”
Anderson says she also plans to get the network involved in development for the Silver Line. “We’re very interested in working on issues such as green buildings, rooftop gardening and other environmentally-friendly ideas that come with new development,” she said. “We’re also very much interested in helping make people aware of ways to get to the new Metro station without using their cars, such as the new proposed bus system, which means less driving.”
The network is also working on a television program for Herndon Community Television.
Voting for the Cox Conserves Heroes is open until June 17. More information, and the online ballot, can be found at www.coxconservesheroes.com.
More information on the Herndon Environmental Network is at www.herndonenvironment.com, and on Facebook under “Herndon Environmental Network.”