Annual Awards


Every year, KRC formally honors individuals who have demonstrated an active dedication to advancing justice and equity in community health and environmental policies in Kentucky through two awards:

  • Sue Anne Salmon Community Advocacy Award
  • Winnie Hepler Lifetime Achievement Award.

    2023 Award Nominations
    are now open.
    Submit a nomination


    On January 9, 2010, the Board of the Kentucky Resources Council  authorized the first award ever given by KRC. The  “Sue Anne Salmon Community Advocacy Award,”  is intended to recognize those who demonstrate principled and courageous environmental advocacy for the betterment of community and the environment, as Sue Anne did for her whole life. Sue Anne “smiled from ear to ear” when she learned of the award, according to her sister Lucy. Sue Anne died on January 13, 2010 after a six-year battle with ovarian cancer. This award is to be given to honor and recognize recent, outstanding acts of community advocacy in a way that advances environmental justice in Kentucky.



    In 2019, the Board of the Kentucky Resources Council established a new award to be bestowed annually on an individual whose life's work has shown the dedication, selfless commitment to nature, the and courage to speak against injustice, as has been the life's essence of the individual for whom the new award was named: Winnie Hepler. From walking in the picket line in support of civil rights in Louisville in the 1960s to her arrest for trespassing at the construction site of the Marble Hill nuclear power plant in 1977; from her early advocacy for air pollution control in Louisville to her work in 2004 and 2005 as a member of the Justice Resource Center and Rubbertown Emergency ACTion towards instituting and then defending an air toxics control program in Louisville; from her work with coalfield residents in the late 1960s in support of a ban on surface coal mining, to her presence at an EPA hearing on mining-related pollution in 2012, Winnie Hepler has been a polestar in the horizon of faithful advocates for justice.

    Nominate an environmental champion for our 2023 awards!

    Past recipients of the Sue Anne Salmon Community Advocacy Award

    • Aloma Dew
    • Corinne Whitehead
    • Wendell Berry
    • Chris Schimmoeller
    • Alice Howell
    • Winnie Hepler
    • Cassia Herron (2020)
    • Preston Miles (2021)
    • Dr. Natasha DeJarnett (2022)
    Past recipients of the Winnie Hepler Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Wendell Berry (2020)
    • Cathy Hinko (2021)
    • Oscar Geralds, Jr. - posthumously (2021)
    • John & Jean Rosenberg (2022)
    "It is Winnie's selfless and loving care for creation and her love of justice, that have marked her life."
    - Tom FitzGerald, KRC Director