Napa Climate Now named the Napa Green team, Megan Scott, Meghan Vergara, Anna Brittain and Ben Mackie, one of their five Climate Champions for 2022 Briana Marie Photography

The Climate Connection The Climate Connection: The 2022 Napa County Climate Champions

Napa Climate NOW! has announced the recipients of its fifth annual Climate Champion awards in five categories: youth advocate/activist; local business; elected official; community group or agency and community activist.

“Each one has demonstrated not only in word, but in deed, what it means to advocate for smart climate action,” said Chris Benz, Napa Climate NOW! co-founder.

The 2022 awardees include:

— Elected Official: Congressman Mike Thompson, for his integral role in crafting the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which carries provisions of Thompson’s 2021 Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act that will cut carbon emissions, lower energy costs for families, and accelerate our transition to clean energy. 

— Youth Educator/Advocate: Jeanne Hillyard, environmental science teacher at American Canyon High School for partnering with the city of American Canyon to kickstart community outreach on climate actions. She will be involving the entire student body in acting using Climate Challenge Napa County (formerly Regeneration Napa County).

— Local Business: Southside Restaurants and owners Morgan and Irma Robinson and Evan Dodge for becoming Napa County’s first Earth-Friendly Eatery, using only reusable foodware for onsite dining and providing only natural fiber-based compostable and BPI-certified (or other third-party certified) disposable foodware for takeout orders. 

— Community Group: Napa Green, the sustainable winegrowing certification program, for developing the Napa Green Vineyard certification focused on climate action, regenerative carbon farming, and social equity.

— Community Activist: Yvonne Baginski, for leading the fight to defeat Measure J in American Canyon, which pushed back against turning agricultural land on the edge of the Napa River wetlands into an industrial park.

“For the fifth time in as many years Napa Climate Now! recognizes those in our community who consistently act in exemplary ways as they speak up and reach out to inform us of the impact of climate change on our local environment. We are pleased to honor their achievements and committed to supporting their continuing efforts,” said Lynne Baker, Napa Climate NOW! co-chair.

An outdoor award ceremony will be held in early 2023. Future editions of the Napa Climate NOW! Climate Connections column in the Napa Register will feature more details on each of the Climate Champions.