Robert Redford lends name to U.S. college environmental body

LOS ANGELES Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:23am IST

Actor Robert Redford arrives for the premiere screening of HBO's The Big Picture : Rethinking Dyslexia in New York City October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Chernin

Actor Robert Redford arrives for the premiere screening of HBO's The Big Picture : Rethinking Dyslexia in New York City October 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Chernin

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood star and environmentalist Robert Redford lent his name on Monday to a new nature conservancy at a Southern California college, saying he hoped the research institute could help the environmentally abused region.

The 12-acre Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College, endowed with $10 million from Hyatt hotel heir Nicholas Pritzker and his wife Susan, will house research and education facilities for environmental issues in Southern California, the college said.

Redford, 76, a Los Angeles native, said watching the city grow at break-neck speeds with little regard for nature after World War Two had influenced his environmental advocacy.

"This is the city I grew up in, and it's the city I grew disappointed in because I saw it disappear," the actor and director told Reuters. "I saw the city that I grew up in, that I loved, disappear because of uncontrolled development and greed, and it lost itself.

Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous at 9.9 million, is notorious for its sprawl, smog, traffic congestion and energy consumption.

California emits the second-highest volume of greenhouse gases among all U.S. states after Texas, according to World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank.

Pitzer College, located 30 miles east of Los Angeles in Claremont, California, said the conservancy aims to influence policymaking, and Redford said his role will be in part to document its research through his Sundance television channel.

"The real question is going to be how can this move from here to other places?" said "The Sting" actor.

"And to me that gets into storytelling. ... The entertainment industry can play a role in this by helping increase the distribution of this idea."

The conservancy is scheduled to open to students in autumn 2014.

(Reporting By Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and Todd Eastham)

Reuters Showcase

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

Oil price will average less in 2015 than during financial crisis - Reuters Poll.  Full Article 

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

New Italy President

New Italy President

Italy elects senior judge Sergio Mattarella as president.  Full Article 

Pharma Deal

Pharma Deal

Sun Pharmaceutical wins U.S. approval to buy Ranbaxy  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia captain left seat before jet lost control - sources  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Review: Hawaizaada

Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage