Rosemarie Lisko remembers her first foray into neighborhood advocacy.

Rosemarie Lisko remembers her first foray into neighborhood advocacy.

It was 1990, when Columbus was widening Bethel Road. Construction crews were dumping dirt 24 hours a day in a wooded area behind Lisko's Indian Hills' home on the Northwest Side.

So she called to protest. And called. And called. But to no avail.

"I decided complaining doesn't get anything done," she said.

So, she mobilized her neighbors. Eventually, the city, property owners and the construction company met at the site and agreed dumping would take place during the day for a limited time period.

Problem solved.

"You've got to get people to rally around you, make yourself heard and don't accept no," she said.

For that tenacity and dedicated public spirit, Lisko was awarded the Anna Mildred Henderson Award for Public Service, sponsored by the Northwest Civic Association. Lisko was honored at the NWCA's meeting April 21.

Jennifer Adair, president of the civic association, said "the choice was obvious."

"She's such a terrific neighbor," Adair said of Lisko, who was unanimously chosen from a field of five candidates. "Her heart is with the community. And that's what this award is really about."

Dave Paul, president of the Northland Community Council, received the award last year.

Lisko is known as a tireless advocate for community issues. She called for an update of the Northwest Plan, which was adopted in 2007. She has pursued getting sidewalks installed near Centennial High School, something that has yet to be accomplished.

"I haven't given up on that," she said.

Lisko, 68, served on the NWCA for nine years and still attends the monthly meetings.

She doesn't consider herself a volunteer. She considers herself a pull-no-punches, outspoken member of the neighborhood who chimes in on zoning issues and other matters that affect the area.

"I think I'm more of a community activist trying to serve the Northwest area," she said.

Still, she's grateful for winning the award.

"I'm honored," she said. "I didn't expect to win the award. I didn't expect to be awarded for anything because I did it out of the kindness of my heart. This is really the icing on the cake."