#NationalVolunteerWeek: Cox Conserves Heroes Celebrates Environmental Volunteers

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#NationalVolunteerWeek: Cox Conserves Heroes Celebrates Environmental Volunteers

Program honors environmental volunteers, makes donations to nonprofits on behalf of finalists
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Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 10:30am

CAMPAIGN: Cox Conserves

CONTENT: Blog

It’s National Volunteer Week. Through the Cox Conserves Heroes program, we are honored to have recognized more than 150 environmental volunteers. Building trails, removing litter from rivers, generating environmental awareness, protecting aquifers, saving burrowing owls, leading interactive tours at farms, creating community gardens, removing invasive species and saving Hemlock trees are just a few of the projects led by Cox Conserves Heroes. And, it’s not their job. It’s their passion and commitment to the environment that spur this volunteerism and inspires others to act.

The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises and takes place in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Virginia. More than $600,000 has been donated to environmental nonprofits. How does it work? The public nominates volunteers using a brief online form. Next, a panel of local environmental leaders selects three finalists who are profiled on video. The public then watches the videos, gets inspired, and votes for their favorite. It's our way of honoring the unsung heroes in our communities and supporting the organizations that matter to them.

Take a look at the 2015 Cox Conserves Heroes. We’re currently accepting nominations in Arizona, California and Virginia at www.CoxConservesHeroes.com. Nominate someone and help us celebrate these great volunteers.

2015 Cox Conserves Heroes (Names Contain Links to Videos)

  • Arizona: Marilyn Hanson retired from teaching in 1999 and turned her energy into caring for her adopted home in Southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. She is a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, volunteer at the Arizona Native Plant Society and a volunteer lead for the Sonora Desert Weedwackers. Through her work, she is preserving the Sonoran Desert ecosystem and educating others of its importance. Nonprofit of choice: Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center
  • Atlanta:  Tom Branch transformed an overgrown space into Frazier Rowe Park. He has coordinated hundreds of volunteers to create a trail system and lead a forest restoration. The workdays bring families together and help the community participate in intergenerational activities like hiking, gardening, bird watching and outdoor enjoyment. His work is teaching future generations about community service and the importance of the environment. Nonprofit of choice: Park Pride
  • Boston: Rocky Morrison was born and raised on the Merrimack River and couldn’t bear to see the Methuen shoreline he played on as a kid littered with debris. Ten years ago he founded the Clean River Project, a volunteer initiative that has since removed thousands of tires, 56 cars and tons of recyclable materials from the Merrimack. The debris is collected in booms along the river, then removed and sorted for recycling. Today, residents are enjoying a cleaner river where nesting eagles, heron and fish are thriving. Nonprofit of choice: Clean River Project
  • California: Jordan benShea has been instrumental in growing public awareness about the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens and is committed to the urban farm model. She also serves on the boards of the Community Environmental Council and Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association. She volunteers as a spokesperson for the organizations at community events to share her eco-experiences and encourage others to live a sustainable life. Nonprofit of choice: Community Environmental Council 
  • Louisiana: Patrick Armstrong is the co-leader of NOLA Trash Mob, a group of volunteers who cleans up public lands. Patrick organizes bi-weekly trash cleanups using social media. Since 2013, the group has held over 70 cleanups and removed nearly 10 tons of litter from New Orleans’ public outdoor spaces. Under Patrick’s leadership, NOLA Trash Mob has grown to more than 1,100 volunteers through innovative partnerships with neighborhood associations, rotary clubs, universities and Friends of Lafitte Corridor. Nonprofit of choice: Friends of Lafitte Corridor
  • Orlando: Chuck O’Neal has advocated for Florida’s natural resources for more than 15 years. An entrepreneur and lifelong Florida resident, Chuck has volunteered hundreds of hours educating voters and lawmakers on the importance of conserving Florida’s unique ecosystem. He organized “Speak up Wekiva,” which engaged community leaders and the public at large in the need to protect the aquifer and created greater awareness about the ill effects of groundwater pollution on people and wildlife. Chuck also leads advocacy efforts for the protection of the Florida black bear and played a vital role in the passing of the Florida Land and Water Conservation Initiative in 2014. Nonprofit of choice: League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund
  • Virginia: Heidi Ketler has volunteered more than 2,000 hours with the Blue Ridge Parkway by clearing trails, cleaning overlooks and building community connections. She has engaged more than 200 volunteers and helped remove more than 2,500 pounds of trash and 1,800 pounds of recyclables from the Parkway. Nonprofit of choice: Roanoke Valley Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

About Cox Conserves:
Launched in 2007 by Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves is Cox Enterprises' national sustainability program. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The program engages each of the company's major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group) and encourages Cox Enterprises' 55,000 employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices.

Keywords: Awards, Ratings & Rankings | Cox Conserves | Environment | Jim Kennedy | Social Impact & Volunteering | environmental volunteers | national volunteer week

CAMPAIGN: Cox Conserves

CONTENT: Blog

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