When Bette Midler moved to NYC, she fitted right in with her big personality and strong opinions. But there was one thing that bothered her – the way people treated their environment. She decided to do something about all the litter on the streets, even if she had to pick it up herself. In 1995 she founded the New York Restoration Project to encourage clean, green neighbourhoods and give everyone access to nature. Her focus is on deprived communities, aiming to be the “conservancy of forgotten places”. The project has reclaimed more than 400 acres of neglected parkland, stopped the commercial development of urban community gardens and 10,000 at-risk kids have benefited from environmental education programmes. Read more.