Hillsborough County is accepting nominations for Hillsborough County’s Theodore Roosevelt Hillsborough Forever 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 a noted conservationist who placed more than 200 million acres under public protection.
Residents are asked to nominate an individual or group who lives or works in Hillsborough County, 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.
Nominations are due by Tuesday, February 28. You can get the nomination form by visiting www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/t-roosevelt-hillsborough-conservation-award.
According to Ross Dickerson, MS, division manager with the Environmental Lands Management of Hillsborough County Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department, the award was established in 2017 by August ‘Gus’ Muench, a commercial crab trapper in Ruskin. He was instrumental in getting Hillsborough County to purchase sensitive environmental lands. He donated funds to start the award. The winner receives $2,000 to work with the staff of the Environment Lands Management to do an environment project.
The 2022 winner was Michael Perry, who was with the Florida Forest Service and served as a towerman. He was a pioneer of prescribed fires in Hillsborough County, which help habitats as well as homeowners. According to Dickerson, Perry conducted prescribed fire outreach programs at events.
Dickerson said, “We get a lot of nominations for individuals, but anyone trying to make a difference in Hillsborough County can win. This includes organizations such as Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.”
Dickerson added, “A lot of civic groups are doing great stuff, and they deserve to be recognized.”
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 award ceremony in the spring to coincide with National Arbor Day.
For more information, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.