ONTARIO — The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has announced that Stacy Moore, Ecological Education Program Director, has been selected as a TIAA Difference Maker 100 Honoree, for her work in the Sagebrush in Prison’s project.
In celebration of TIAA’s 100th year of serving those who serve others, TIAA is recognizing 100 people like Moore who work for a nonprofit and are making significant contributions in their community or the world, a release states. TIAA is awarding each Difference Maker 100 honoree with a $10,000 donation to support the nonprofit organization through which they make a difference. In Moore’s case, $10,000 will be donated to the Sagebrush in Prisons project, providing vocational training and hope to incarcerated people in 12 prisons in six states. Moore was selected from among more than 4,000 entries.
Moore has helped coordinate IAE’s Sustainability in Prisons Project work that includes education programs and growing native plants at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Snake River Correctional Institution and Oak Creek Youth Authority.
“We could think of no better way to commemorate our centennial than to celebrate the people we have a mission to serve – the millions of nonprofit professionals driven by purpose and service – and to help enable them to continue having a positive impact on the world,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA. “We were delighted to receive over 4,000 submissions. Each represents an inspiring story that epitomizes what it means to be a difference maker.”
For five years, Moore was tireless in her efforts to continue the Institute for Applied Ecology’s Sagebrush in Prisons project, according to a news release from TIAA. The project works with incarcerated men and women to raise sagebrush plants, receive vocational training, and participate in monthly education and guest lectures in land management and conservation. This year, funds will be used to plant the one millionth sagebrush plant, which regenerate slowly after wildfire. The sagebrush provides habitat for the greater sage-grouse, an iconic large bird that has declined due to wildfire and development.
According to the release, many inmates feel benefits from growing plants, working outdoors, and giving back to local communities. The project partners with the Bureau of Land Management for restoration, with grant funds from the Collins Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and private donors.
“This project is so critical to provide these often forgotten people with a chance to learn about and connect with soil, plants and wildlife,” Moore said in the release. “For inmates, this project provides them a chance to give back to the community. One inmate commented that this project saved his life while he’d been in prison. I am very honored to have TIAA recognize this work.”
“The Sagebrush in Prisons project provides benefits on so many levels; for wildlife habitat, for incarcerated people, and for communities around the prisons,” said IAE Executive Director Tom Kaye. “We really appreciate TIAA’s recognition of what Stacy Moore has accomplished.”