Karen Robinson named Eco-hero
UPdate Fall 2008

Karen Robinson was named an Eco-Hero by the Nova Scotia Environmental Network at an award ceremony in January, 2008. Karen received the Cole Award for Excellence in Environment and Health for her work with Citizens for a Safe Learning Environment (CASLE) and the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia (EHANS.)

Karen has been involved in environmental issues since the 1970’s, when she was a founding member of Outdoors Nova Scotia, a member of the Ecology Action Centre, and led training sessions of recreation leaders in provincial parks. She put her ideas about the environment into practice early on, building an energy efficient home in Antigonish County with her husband.
Since 1990, Karen has focused her attention on environmental impacts on human health. She was a founding member of CASLE, and serves as its CEO. Under Karen’s leadership, CASLE has had significant success in improving the way Nova Scotia schools are build and operated, to the benefit of the health of students, staff and the environment. Karen has also served on the EHANS Managing Board for 12 years. She has been a driving force behind the E. Bruce Elliott Scholarship Committee. She also chairs EHANS Treatment and Healthy Schools committees.

“ It is no exaggeration to say that every school child and staff person for the past 15 years, and every one yet to come for the foreseeable future, has benefited from Karen’s efforts through CASLE and EHANS,” said her nominator. “She has educated and advocated for changes on issues such as scent-free and chemical-reduction programs, mould remediation, avoiding renovation hazards, choosing least-toxic teaching and maintenance materials, and building healthy new schools. Karen speaks at local, national and international building science conferences, and is primary author of Healthy School Design and Construction, a document being used by the Nova Scotia provincial government to build new schools and public buildings in the Province of Nova Scotia.”

Karen’s volunteer contributions to healthier schools have also been recognized by a commendation from the Nova Scotia Provincial Legislature, and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

UPdate, Fall 2008, Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia