Sykora re­ceives two awards

Com­mu­nity leader hon­ored by In­ter-Com­mu­nity Ac­tion, Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion

The Review - - Front Page - By Kier­sten Mc Mona­gle For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

ROXBOR­OUGH » This­month, com­mu­nity mem­ber Kay Sykora is be­ing pre­sented with two lo­cal awards for her years of ser­vice to the Roxbor­ough com­mu­nity: the Com­mu­nity Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Award from In­ter- Com­mu­nity Ac­tion and the Henry Meigs En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship Award from the Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion.

The first of th­ese, the Com­mu­nity Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Award, was pre­sented at In­ter- Com­mu­nity Ac­tion’s an­nual Car­ing for the Com­mu­nity Auc­tion at the Ger­man­town Cricket Club Thurs­day, Nov. 9.

Ac­cord­ing to In­ter-Com­mu­nity Ac­tion’s press re­lease re­gard­ing the award, “Ms. Sykora [was hon­ored] for her many years of pas­sion­ate work on be­half of Roxbor­ough and Manayunk.”

The Com­mu­nity Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Award is an an­nual honor given to a com­mu­nity mem­ber “who ex­em­pli­fies com­mu­nity ser­vices,” wrote Steven May, vice pres­i­dent for de­vel­op­ment.

In­ter-Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Pres­i­dent and CEO Bryan Cohen mir­rored this sen­ti­ment.

“It’s a plea­sure and an honor for In­ter­act to present the 2017 Com­mu­nity Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Award to [Sky­ora],” he said. “Kay has been a part of the In­ter­act fam­ily for over 20 years. Her ef­forts on be­half of In­ter­act and the com­mu­nity have helped sup­port our be­lief that ev­ery­one de­serves a ful­fill­ing life.”

While the Com­mu­nity Ap­pre-

cia­tion Award fo­cuses on Sykora’s ded­i­ca­tion to the Roxbor­ough com­mu­nity, the Henry Meigs En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship Award fo­cuses in­stead on her com­mit­ment to the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

Mike Weibacher, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Schuylkill Cen­ter, ex­plained Sykora will be the award’s 12th re­cip­i­ent, plac­ing her in the com­pany of botanists, ecol­o­gists, teachers and other com­mu­nity lead­ers who have ded­i­cated their life’s work to help­ing im­prove and sus­tain the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

“The award is meant for some­one with a ca­reer of help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” Weibacher said.

He ex­plained Sykora was cho­sen specif­i­cally for her work on the Schuylkill River Trail Sys­tem.

“We thought it­was a good timeto ac­knowl­edge that en­ergy and work,” he said.

The Henry Meigs En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship Award award will be pre­sented by Henry Meigs’ son, Bin­ney Meigs, at the Schuylkill Cen­ter’s town hall meet­ing Nov. 16.

Sykora has­worked­within the Roxbor­ough com­mu­nity for a num­ber of years, hav­ing been a found­ing mem­ber of theManayunkDevel­op­ment Corp. as the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s di­rec­tor from 1988 through 2006. About 10 years ago, she piv­oted into a role as di­rec­tor of Des­ti­na­tion Schuylkill River, where she fo­cuses on a num­ber of projects within the com­mu­nity.

While Sykora has spear­headed and col­lab­o­rated on a va­ri­ety of en­vi­ron­men­tally fo­cused projects over the past 30 years, her work with the Schuylkill River Trail Sys­tem is likely the most eas­ily rec­og­niz­able.

Along with sev­eral other city and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, Sykora helped to re­vi­tal­ize the trail along the Manayunk Bridge, which opened to the pub­lic in Oc­to­ber 2015. Now, she is work­ing with those same or­ga­ni­za­tions to in­stall light­ing and se­cu­rity sys­tems along the trail for those who want to en­joy the bridge af­ter dark.

While the Manaynk Bridge is known and loved by­many though, Sykora de- scribes her work with the Philadel­phi­aWater De­part­ment to re­vi­tal­ize theManayunk Canal SluiceHouse as her largest cur­rent project. The sluice house that cur­rently ex­ists is in­tended to con­trol wa­ter flow into the canal. How­ever, Sykora ex­plained, it cur­rently isn’t do­ing that as well as it should. She and the Wa­ter De­part­ment are col­lab­o­rat­ing to “build a new sluice house that bet­ter con­trols wa­ter flow into the canal.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — SU­SAN BEARD DE­SIGN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Kay Sykora will re­ceive the Schuylkill Cen­ter’s Henry Meigs En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship Award a week af­ter ac­cept­ing In­ter­act’s Com­mu­nity Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Award.

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