A long-time Eugene resident has instituted the Oregon Blackberry Award during this pandemic to recognize people and organizations for their accomplishments.
We learned of the Blackberry Award when cartographer Peter Eberhardt contacted KLCC to give one to us. As a news organization, we had to get the story. Eberhardt said he was first inspired by a talk by local NAACP leader Eric Richardson...the first person to receive the award.
“It all came together last spring as Covid got going in our country,” Eberhardt said. “And I created the Oregon Blackberry Award as a way to acknowledge people in the Eugene area community who, to me, are doing incredible things—who are uplifting, who are organizing, who are helping others.”
Eberhardt used his experience as a mapmaker in conceiving of the award.
“Basically, as a cartographer, I’m trained in changing the scale of maps. So, I say the Nobel prizes are scalable in that you can scale it down to your community and your resources.”
The Oregon Blackberry Award features a plaque with a hand-colored drawing of a blackberry. It also includes Eberhardt’s mom’s recipe for blackberry cobbler, and instructions on how to pick the ubiquitous, sweet tart fruit.
And there’s a document with instructions on how to pick blackberries. He recommends using a half-gallon Nancy’s yogurt container, from the local company. “It explains about freezing them. Storing them.”
Eberhardt has given the award to more than 20 people. Most respond with surprise and delight. And he said he plans to give out more.
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