2017 Conservation Awards announced

2017 Conservation Awards announced

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From the LandTrust for Central North Carolina: The Salisbury-based LandTrust for Central North Carolina hosted its second year of conservation awards on November 11, 2017. These were presented at a dinner for Three Rivers Society members at Bob Timberlake's gallery in Lexington. Attendees received a signed copy of Bob's latest book, "Bob Timberlake's Letter to Home." Morgan Ridge Vineyards catered the event.

The winner for the Fred Stanback Conservationist of the Year Award went to Bill and Nancy Stanback. This award is named in honor of Fred Stanback, who has contributed so much to conservation across North Carolina, but especially to The LandTrust for Central NC. Bill and Nancy have also been ardent supporters of The LandTrust for many years, most recently making a generous donation towards the Alcoa project. This is The LandTrust's effort to secure 4,700 acres of land and 76 miles of shoreline on the Yadkin River from Alcoa (the Aluminum Company of America).

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) was awarded the Governmental Conservation Partner of the Year. The CWMTF has supported many of The LandTrust's projects over the years, and most recently awarded a grant of $1.2 million to the Alcoa project. CWMTF's Executive Director Walter Clark accepted the award on the organization's behalf.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was awarded the Jason Walser Conservation Partner of the Year award. This award is named in honor of The LandTrust's former Executive Director who cultivated many conservation partners throughout his tenure. NWTF has partnered with The LandTrust on youth hunting days and conservation projects like the Birkhead Property, which is a 290-acre property in Randolph County, recently transferred to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for inclusion in their gamelands program. Richard Plattenberger, Zac Morton, and Wynn Smith accepted the award on behalf of NWTF.

The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Shelley Williamson. Shelly has been a diligent volunteer for The LandTrust helping get files in order following LandTrust Standards and Practices to keep us in compliance with National Accreditation. She is a friendly face in the office and her organizational skills are very much appreciated.

The LandTrust has implemented a Sportsman Access Program, whereby members of The LandTrust who sign up as sportsman donors are entered into a permit draw to hunt LandTrust lands. These hunters also have opportunities to give back to The LandTrust by donating their time and efforts towards land management objectives. Tim Goodman was named Sportsman of the Year this year as he has helped The LandTrust out installing gates and other needed activities on our lands. Tim also harvested a buck that scored 145 just this past week on The LandTrust's Low Water Bridge Preserve.

The Leopold Society School of the Year was Sacred Heart Catholic School. Hillary Shores accepted the award on behalf of the school. She is a middle school science teacher and has gotten her students involved in the Leopold Society, which is The LandTrust's outreach effort to engage youth in conservation.

The County Chapter of the Year Award was given to Richmond County. The LandTrust is developing county chapters in each of our ten counties to help support The LandTrust's efforts in those counties. Richmond has been a very proactive chapter, hosting hikes and kayak trips as membership drives, as well as getting involved in conservation projects in the county. Sarah Ferguson accepted the award on behalf of the chapter.

Cade Harrill was awarded a $1000 college scholarship. Cade was involved in the Leopold Society at his high school and wrote an essay on what conservation means to him. He is currently attending Western Carolina University. The scholarship was made possible by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation.

Congratulations to all of the award winners and thanks for all of their efforts to further conservation in the Central Piedmont of North Carolina. The LandTrust could not accomplish our mission of saving the places you love in the Piedmont without the support of our partners, members, and volunteers.

To learn more about how you can support The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or crystal@landtrustcnc.org.

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