2013 Awards for Minnesota Conservation Leadership Announced
At a ceremony held yesterday at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, The Trust for Public Land announced the winners of its fifth annual Conservation Leadership Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in supporting the conservation of Minnesota special places from city parks to wilderness areas.
The 2013 TPL Conservation Leadership Award winners are Senator Rod Skoe, DFL – Clearbrook; Representative Leon Lillie, DFL – North St. Paul; Council member Melvin Carter, St. Paul Ward 1; Jenny Smith, Cycle Path & Paddle, Crosby; Peggy Booth, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Scientific and Natural Area program supervisor, St. Paul.
“The Trust for Public Land’s 2013 Conservation Leadership Award winners have been integral in supporting places for Minnesotans to enjoy – from cities to wilderness,” said Susan Schmidt, The Trust for Public Land’s Minnesota state director. “These are the places our families go to get outside and play, walk, fish, hunt, and enjoy nature.”
Senator Rod Skoe (Clearbrook) was recognized for his outstanding conservation leadership in the protection of La Salle Lake State Recreation Area, Hubbard County. La Salle Lake SRA is now a satellite unit of Itasca State Park.
Representative Leon Lillie (North St. Paul) was recognized for his outstanding conservation leadership to protect critical habitat and to create parks and trails, including the protection of Mississippi River Northwoods, Crow Wing County. Northeast of Brainerd, the property is roughly 2,000 acres with nearly three miles of pristine, undeveloped shoreline along the Mississippi River.
St. Paul City Council member Melvin Carter was recognized for his outstanding leadership in and commitment to the creation of Frogtown Park & Farm, St. Paul. The proposed park in a park poor neighborhood of St. Paul will include an active play area, a nature preserve, and an urban demonstration farm where neighbors will be able to learn about different farming traditions.
Jenny Smith, Cycle Path & Paddle, Crosby was recognized for her outstanding conservation leadership, including the protection of Mississippi River Northwoods, Crow Wing County. Ms. Smith led efforts to organize around the need to invest inland protection for economic development reasons.
Peggy Booth was recognized for her outstanding conservation leadership as a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Scientific and Natural Area Program Supervisor, in the protection of Savage Fen, Franconia Bluffs, Lost Valley, Pine Bend Bluffs, Gaul Island, and more.
Funding for La Salle Lake SRA was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Recourse (LCCMR). Funding for Mississippi River Northwoods and La Salle Lake SRA was provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC).
The inaugural winners of the award in 2010 were Senator Ellen Anderson, DFL - St. Paul, and Representative Larry Haws, DFL - St. Cloud. The 2011 award winners were Representative Larry Howes, R - Walker, and Representative John Ward, DFL - Brainerd. The 2012 award winners were Bill Ingebrigtsen, R - Alexandria; Representative Dean Urdahl, R - Grove City; Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede; Beth Kallestad, Cannon River Watershed Partnership; and Blane Klemek on behalf of the Northwest regional office of the Minn. Department of Natural Resources.
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.