Do you know someone whose work to protect the environment has made a lasting difference in residents’ quality of life?
Nominations are now being accepted for Hillsborough County’s Theodore Roosevelt Hillsborough Forever Conservation Award (https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/t-roosevelt-hillsborough-conservation-award). The honor is given annually to an individual or group who exemplifies dedication to preserving the county’s natural resources. The award is named after Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the 26th president of the United States and noted conservationist who placed more than 200 million acres under public protection.
Nominees must live or work in Hillsborough County and “be someone who shows persistence and dedication to long-term conservation of the county’s natural resources, demonstrates integrity in performance toward conservation goals and displays attributes of true conservation stewardship,” according to the award criteria.
Nominations will go through the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program General Committee, which will send a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for approval. The board will hold an awards ceremony in the spring to coincide with National Arbor Day.
Previous winners of the award include Joe Guidry, who was the first winner in 2017. Guidry was a former Tampa Tribune opinion editor. During his decades on the Tribune Editorial Board, Guidry undertook a campaign to save Tampa Bay from pollution.
Ann Paul won the award in 2018. She was the Audubon Florida’s regional coordinator for the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, a series of islands where birds nest in colonies that extends from Citrus County to Charlotte County.
In 2019, the award was given to Dr. Brandt Henningsen, who retired after 31 years of service as chief advisor environmental scientist for the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s SWIM Program. SWIM stands for Surface Water Improvement and Management. Henningsen directed or co-directed 58 of 99 SWIM restoration projects undertaken during his tenure. His hands touched 2,700 acres out of 4,700 restored—more than half.
Last year, former Florida Governor Bob Martinez received the award for the multitude of accomplishments that can be seen throughout Hillsborough County, from the swamps of the Upper Hillsborough River to the banks of Cockroach Ray, and across Florida.
The deadline for nominations (https://hcflgov.formstack.com/forms/theodore_roosevelt_hillsborough_forever_conservation_award) is Sunday, February 28. For more information, call 672-7876 or email Ross Dickerson at dickersonR@HCFLGov.net.