2015 Pat Franklin Courageous Spirit Award Recipients
Mr. Garver has been cleaning up Buffalo Bayou for about a dozen years with a vacuum boat he designed to suck up the floatables on the bayou. He is the founder of both Plastic Pollution Texas which solely promoted deposits, which then warped into Texas Bottle Bill, and then had one final transition to Texans for Clean Water addressing single use plastic bags, polystyrene, AND deposits.
Mr. Garver is truly committed to contributing to the high quantity and quality of recyclable materials, which ultimately also means keeping containers out of the environment. Though he says, "I wasn't born an environmentalist, in fact I never gave it a moment's thought until I started working on the bayou and then all sorts of things start to show up, and not only the litter, which is my real pet project. But I guess I would call myself an environmentalist now.
The litter in the bayous is what drives seventy-five-year-old Mr. Garver and is what keeps him working towards a Texas beverage container deposit law, and he certainly does whatever it takes: time, money, plain old hands on labor, and a whole lot of gumption. He will do it all, and that is why is he one of the recipients of the Pat Franklin Courageous Spirit Award.
Ms. Davis is the founder of the Tennessee Bottle Bill Project. She is president of Scenic Tennessee, and a member of the Governor's Advisory Council for Keep Tennessee Beautiful.
Ms. Davis grew up in Portland, Maine; she graduated from Bates College in 1976 and joined the staff of the Maine Audubon Society in 1978 she has had her fair share of standing up to deposit opponents. In 1979 opponents had just launched a multi-million-dollar effort to do away with the "bottle bill." Maine Audubon led the campaign to save the bill, and in 1979, in one of the largest turnouts in Maine referendum history, Maine's voters upheld their container deposit law by an overwhelming margin of 84 percent.
Shortly thereafter, Ms. Davis moved to Nashville and got involved in Tennessee's own efforts to pass container deposit legislation. That legislation ultimately failed, but it created a strong network of advocates who are still working towards obtaining a strong bottle recovery system in Tennessee. Ms. Davis had the unique chance of being part of those experiences in Maine and in Tennessee, and she hasn’t stopped her engines almost 30 years later!
Ms. Davis has not only had the opportunity to work on campaigns, but she has also written extensively on conservation and waste-reduction issues. She is the former publications editor for the Waste Reduction Assistance Program of the University of Tennessee's Center for Industrial Services, has profiled the waste-reduction efforts, challenges and success stories of dozens of Tennessee businesses, from the very large to the very small. Her articles have appeared in The Tennessee Conservationist and Tennessee Wildlife. Ms. Davis definitely has all the qualities necessary to be a recipient of the Pat Franklin Courageous Spirit award.
Congratulations again Marge & Mike