Hollister gains Branson’s environmental champion

“Branson’s loss is Hollister’s gain that’s for sure,” said Larry VanGilder, the city of Branson’s Public Works Director. The “loss” he was referring to was Debbie Redford, the city’s long time Environmental Specialist, who will be leaving her position to accept the position of “Public Relations Coordinator and Grant Writer” in the Hollister School District effective Jan. 5, 2009.

VanGilder said that one of the first things Redford said when she became Branson’s first and only Environmental Specialist in 1995 was that she had been an environmental volunteer all her life and couldn’t believe that she was going to be getting paid for something that she loved to do, She said, “How much better than that can it be.” He went on to say that she has brought that enthusiasm to her job every day.

Redford said that the thing she will miss most about the job is the people. She expressed her pride in the city of Branson for the financial commitment it made to the development of its environmental program pointing out that environmental programs are generally not self sufficient and Branson’s is no exception.

While reflecting on some of the major accomplishments of her tenure with the city, Redford cited the development and expansion of the recycle center from a simple drop off point to processing facility as a major accomplishment for the city. Over the years, the city’s physical recycling capability has evolved,from a drop off point, into a facility with covered pole barns, glass crushers, and balers for items such as cardboard and plastics along with a household chemical facility for the collection of household chemicals.

Another accomplishment was in the area of environmental education. She pointed out that the city has permitted her the flexibility to present programs and speak not only within the city of Branson but to other schools and organizations within the surrounding community.

Redford said that operating a recycling center is extremely labor intensive and labor is expensive. The cooperative effort she has developed with local courts and organizations for the use of persons required to perform Community Service is an innovation she feels has enhanced not only the effectiveness of the recycling centers operation but its financial viability.

Dr. Tim Taylor, Hollister’s Superintendent of Schools said, “She’s just the perfect fit and we are thrilled to have her.” Those who know Redford and what she has done for the development of the city’s environmental program might just echo Taylor’s statement saying, “She was a perfect fit and we were thrilled and lucky to have her.”

Furnished Courtesy of the Branson Daily Independent https://bransoncourier.com/view_article.php?news_ID=41

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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