About Ellen Pickering
The award is named in honor of Frances Ellen Pickering's lifelong dedication to preservation and conservation in the City of Alexandria. Mrs. Pickering was a long-time City activist who first gained recognition for her lobbying efforts more than 31 years ago that ultimately helped to create the Mount Vernon Trail between Alexandria and Washington, DC.
An active preservationist and conservationist, she was deeply committed to preserving and enhancing the City's waterfront. She urged the adoption of the City's Open Space Plan, lobbied to preserve Founder's Park and protect it from high-rise development, and implemented the planting of 1,000 citizen-donated cherry trees during her tenure as chair of the Alexandria Beautification Commission.
Mrs. Pickering was elected to City Council as an independent, serving for one term between 1976 and 1979. She also served on numerous City boards and commissions, including the Alexandria Beautification Commission, the Alexandria Sanitation Authority, the Ad Hoc Committee on Potomac Yard, the Potomac Greens Task Force, and the Open Space Steering Committee. She also chaired the Northern Virginia Conservation Council for many years. She won two Salute to Women Awards from the City's Commission on Women; she was also an active member of the League of Women Voters and the Alexandria chapter of the American Association of University Women.
A call for nominations for the 2018 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award will be announced in 2018.