RRT Co-Coordinator Receives Environmental Leadership Award

Co-Coordinator of The Rock River Trail Initiative and Nature At The Confluence’s Executive Director, Therese Oldenburg received the “Elly” Environmental Leadership Award from the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce February 27, 2018 at their annual dinner attended by over 500 people. Keynote speaker at the dinner was WI Governor Scott Walker with special appearance by Secretary of Tourism Stephanie Klett. This award brought wonderful recognition of the work we’re doing at on the Rock River Trail. Therese’s work with Nature At The Confluence, a new environmental learning center located on the Rock River in South Beloit, IL was also recognized as part of this award.

Therese said in accepting the award:“I am honored to accept the Environmental Leadership award and I applaud the Chamber for recognizing the importance of environmental stewardship in our community. I recently read that two of the top ten criteria young professionals use when choosing a community to live in includes access to outdoor activities and an emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Our mission at Nature At The Confluence is to inspire the love of nature, and cultivate environmental understanding and stewardship. I invite you to visit us to learn about the exciting work we are doing. It’s truly the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.

I accept this award in honor of all of the people who have been working on bettering the environmental health of the Stateline area. ”

Below is the award introduction read at the award ceremony.

“This year’s “Elly” Environmental Leadership Award winner has shined in her new role as Executive Director of Nature at the Confluence, a new urban environmental learning center located along Turtle Creek where it meets the Rock River in South Beloit, as well as her work with the new Rock River Trail. This is an individual who sees the future as a place of opportunity.  She has leveraged the use of outdoor recreation to educate the public on the need to protect some of our most vital assets in the Stateline area.

Whether by land or by water, she makes it a personal mission to bring communities together to positively transform the world around us. From simply picking up trash along the Rock River to serving as the marketing and program coordinator for the newly-opened Nature at the Confluence, she serves to improve the environment we live in.

She is an active and visible leader in protecting and promoting the outdoor assets of the Beloit area. Many in the area don’t know that she is the co-coordinator of the Rock River Trail Initiative Council which markets a multitude of trail types, from water to equestrian to aviation to chocolate, from Waupun, WI to the Quad Cities in Illinois. Her work behind the scenes on this council have brought together numerous communities to jointly promote one of our greatest assets that we take for granted, the Rock River.

Ultimately, her greatest joy comes from people experiencing the river and the outdoors in a way they haven’t before. It is evident especially when you see the excitement of children interacting with the former dumping grounds which is now known as Nature at the Confluence. The opportunities are endless and she is taking advantage of every chance to tell the story to the next generation which ultimately will carry out her dreams and legacy.

Nature at the Confluence is a true testament to cross-regional cooperation and we are proud of the work and leadership this winner has dedicated to our community, and pleased to present this year’s “Elly” Environmental Leadership Award to Therese Oldenburg!”