Jerry Hearn recognized as 'environmental hero'


Jerry Hearn, a longtime local environmental leader and resident of Los Trancos Woods, was recognized April 25 as an "environmental hero" of California's 13th Senate District.

"The wonderful quality of life we enjoy here on the Peninsula is thanks to leaders like Jerry who worked so hard to protect our natural environment," said state Sen. Jerry Hill in presenting a certificate of recognition to Mr. Hearn on Saturday at the Konditorei coffee shop in Ladera.

Jerry Hearn. (Photo courtesy Peninsula School.)
Mr. Hearn was a leader in the founding of the San Mateo County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee. He is a founder of the San Francisquito Creek Watershed Council and was a leader in the merger of the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation and Bay Area Action in 2000 to form the environmental nonprofit Acterra.

"What I love about Jerry is that he's a great example of Alex Haley's quote, 'Find the good and praise it,'" said Lennie Roberts, the legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills. "He engages people in learning about our creeks and watersheds and how they can personally help protect and restore these critical ecosystems. His gentle and friendly advocacy results in people wanting to do the right thing."

Portola Valley Councilwoman Maryann Moise Derwin, in an email, said she would be "hard pressed to find a person who has done more to protect the watershed than Jerry Hearn, and he's done it quietly for decades with intelligence, humility and grace. What an honor for Portola Valley to have this giant of an environmental advocate living among us. Thanks to Senator Hill for giving him the public recognition he so richly deserves."

"I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with Jerry Hearn over the past 7 years, and he is a remarkable human being," said Alex Von Feldt, a Portola Valley planning commissioner and the stewardship director for Acterra in Palo Alto. "Not only does he give so much of his time for local environmental causes, but he cares deeply about mentoring youth and providing meaningful opportunities for kids to get involved with their community. He brings people together from disparate backgrounds to work through problems and find a solution. He has made this community and the region such a better place for having been a part of it."

Mr. Hearn is also co-chair of the Searsville Advisory Group, which counsels Stanford University on the future of Searsville Dam.

For more than 40 years, he was an instructor at Peninsula School in Menlo Park.

Click here to see the announcement and an article on Jerry Hearn published by Peninsula School when he retired as an instructor there in 2011.

Marion Softky story from Oct. 4, 2000: Jerry Hearn heads environmental group formed by merger.

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2 people like this
Posted by Danna
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Good job Jerry Hearn! Well deserved!

2 people like this
Posted by Philippe
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Lennie got it right. I have seen first had the unassuming way Jerry helps disparate groups talk to each other. It is why I was so delighted when Jerry agreed to become a member of the Jasper Ridge Coordinating Committee, well before he even became a docent. He has been an invaluable contributor.

4 people like this
Posted by David Smernoff
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Well deserved recognition for a truly dedicated, thoughtful and kind human. Thanks for all you have accomplished for our communities, both the human and especially the ecological.

4 people like this
Posted by Debbie Mytels
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

How appropriate to name Jerry Hearn as an Environmental Hero! He has done SO much over many years to educate kids and adults about the importance of living in balance with the natural world. Jerry is one of those soft-spoken advocates whose dedication over decades has led him to engage many people in working to protect this beautiful part of Earth we call "the Peninsula." Those of us who have had the joy of working alongside Jerry can tell dozens of stories about his generosity, his ability to bring people together, and his caring for people of all ages and types. He is truly a "hero" in so many ways.

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