2019 Honoree

Mike Hein.jpg

2019 William R. Ginsberg Stewardship Award Honoree

Mike Hein

Mike Hein’s three terms as Ulster County’s first County Executive demonstrated unrivaled leadership in environmental protection among counties statewide.  Our county was designated both the most environmentally responsible and the only “net carbon neutral” county in New York, earning worldwide recognition in National Geographic Magazine for its environmental achievements in 2016.  Ulster County also won the 2017 Environmental Achievement award from the NYSDEC. Key accomplishments included first NYS county government with 100% of its electricity generated from renewable resources; construction of utility-scale solar generation; and creating a county-wide EV charging network for both County fleet vehicles and the public.  Mike’s vision and achievements toward creating a connected, county-wide rail trail network offers health, recreation, and sustainable tourism benefits as well as potential alternative transportation options to cut our reliance on fossil fuels.

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About the William R. Ginsberg Stewardship Award:

William R. Ginsberg (1930-2006) was a nationally known advocate for open space, a pioneering professor of environmental law, and a catalyst for the preservation of more than 30,000 acres in the Catskills. Though an ardent New Yorker, Bill often retreated to his home on Happy Valley Road in Woodstock, and was deeply involved in Woodstock Land Conservancy work from the very start. He helped to craft WLC’s very first conservation easement for a field overlooking Guardian Mountain. Bill’s deep connection with the Open Space Institute also helped pave the way for WLC’s later partnership with OSI to permanently protect 600 upper elevation acres in the Campaign to Save Overlook.