Published: March 10, 2010

‘Greening’ host Kirk Heinze receives 2009 News/Media Award

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Kirk Heinze, host of Greening of the Great Lakes, was awarded the Michigan Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society 2009 News/Media Award on March 10.

The award recognizes the “dedication to and promotion of natural resource issues in the news and media.”  The award was presented at the group’s seminar in East Lansing.

The weekly Greening of the Great Lakes program airs Fridays at 7 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR and explores issues related to environmental, economic and socio-cultural sustainability. Topics range from the construction of "green" buildings to the development of energy-efficient automobiles to the creation of the biofuels that may help power autos and buildings of the future.

“We thoughtfully consider such critical issues as land use, water quality, climate change, alternative energy, local food procurement and agricultural tourism,” Heinze said. “We talk with business leaders, researchers and public officials who have varying perspectives on these issues, and our listeners form their own judgments based on what they hear.” 

The show is produced in partnership by Michigan State and News/Talk 760 WJR.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practices, programs and policy. Society members include researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers and ranchers.  Members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private and nonprofit institutions.

“Kirk has been a great proponent of agriculture and natural resources in Michigan for years,” said Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Region 4 director of the SWCS. “We greatly appreciate his use of the powerful WJR airwaves to help educate the public on issues related to land and water conservation.”

Rebekah DeWind, president of the Michigan Chapter of SWCS, said “Kirk has earned this award by spreading the word on the importance of conservation, which is a key goal of our organization.”

In February 2009, MSU and WJR partnered with to more broadly communicate sustainability efforts in the Great Lakes region. Heinze blogs regularly on’s environmental page. is Michigan’s No. 1 local news and information Web site with 3.1 million users. Its large local audience and affiliation with eight major newspapers has increased awareness of the Greening of the Great Lakes Radio program, MSU and WJR.

“Our environmental page has a sizeable following already,” said Bill Emkow,’s editor-in-chief. “Now we’ve added multimedia and Kirk’s blog to encourage our reading community to interact with us. We want to be the best place for environmental news in the state of Michigan.”

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