San Diego’s 2011 Cox Conserves Heroes Finalists Named

The public has weighed in and nominated environmental heroes who volunteer to ensure a greener San Diego. The Cox Conserves Heroes awards program, sponsored by Think Blue San Diego, the City of San Diego’s storm water pollution prevention program, has named three youth and three adult finalists for the awards. The finalists will receive $35,000 in cash prizes that will be donated to their non-profits of choice. Vote now.

Cox Communications is posting the inspiring stories of the six finalists online and asking the public to vote for one youth and one adult winner. Voting is open through Friday, August 5, 2011 at

To help the public learn more about the nominees, the finalists will be profiled in a special 30-minute “San Diego Insider Magazine” on Channel 4 San Diego, airing on:

  • Tuesday, 7/19 – immediately following “Postgame” (approximately 7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, 7/23 – 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, 7/28 – 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 8/5 – 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Finalists also will be recognized on the field at Petco Park prior to the San Diego Padres game on August 19. Final results of the online voting will be announced and winners crowned at a reception that evening at Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp, hosted by J-Six. First, second, and third place finishers in each category will receive $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, to donate to their chosen non-profit organizations.

The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company. The program seeks to celebrate local conservation in communities across the country. This year’s awards are sponsored by Think Blue San Diego, the City’s organization to combat storm-drain pollution.

Cox Conserves Heroes – San Diego finalists:


Blake Powers helped to develop the East County Produce Exchange, which provides an opportunity for neighbors within the local community to trade homegrown produce monthly, so nothing goes to waste. Blake will donate his prize to A.R.C.H.E.S. (Alpine Ranch Creative Health and Ecological Solutions, Inc.),

Isabel Herrera has spent the last three years inspiring people to protect the ocean and enlighten others about environmental issues. She has focused her efforts on City Heights, trying to change behaviors such as dumping and polluting. Isabel will donate her prize to Ocean Discovery Institute,

Luis Malo volunteers and assists in coordinating various clean-up activities at his high school and his Chula Vista community. He’s active in the Chula Vista High School PEACE Club, where members clean up graffiti throughout the neighborhood. Luis will donate his prize to the Chula Vista High School (CVHS) Peace Club,


Gerry Keskeys has devoted more than 1,200 hours to establishing green spaces in urban San Diego, and he played a key role in starting the New Roots Community Farm. Gerry will donate his prize to Grow Strong,

Denise Stillinger volunteers in wetlands conservation and education. She helped to create the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, to preserve the lagoon and its watershed. Denise will donate her prize to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy,

Irene Barajas volunteers by teaching Girl Scouts how to clean up and beautify the Otay Valley Regional Park. Together they have helped plant and maintain 500 trees in the area. Irene will donate her prize to WiLDCOAST/Costasalvaje,

About Cox Conserves Heroes
The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between TPL and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, to honor everyday conservationists. Since the program launched in 2008, nearly $125,000 has been donated to local environmental nonprofits. Cox Conserves Heroes also runs in Atlanta, Hampton Roads, Va., San Francisco and Seattle.

About Cox Communications
San Diego Award-winning Cox Communications is a full-service telecommunications provider of voice, video and data services. Operating in San Diego County since 1961, Cox offers the latest in advanced digital TV and high definition cable television, high speed Internet, local and long distance telephone service, digital video recorder service and On Demand programming. Commercial voice and data services are offered via Cox Business; advertising and promotional opportunities are available through Cox Media; and Cox Communications San Diego owns and operates award-winning Channel 4 San Diego, television home of the San Diego Padres and local programming. For more information, visit and

About Think Blue San Diego
Think Blue is the City of San Diego’s award winning Storm Water outreach program. Started in 1999 as part of the Clean Water Task Force, Think Blue provides education to residents, businesses and visitors about steps that they can take to prevent storm drain pollution, and protect our local waterways in San Diego. When it rains or when water flows out of yards, water that enters the storm drain system flows directly into our creeks, rivers, bays, beaches and ultimately the ocean. The water that enters the storm drain system is untreated because the City storm drain system and sewer system are NOT connected. Contaminants that flow into the storm drain, such as pesticides, pet waste, trash and automobile fluids, are harmful to our health and can impact local marine life. Think Blue encourages everyone to help prevent pollution by adopting a few simple practices. To learn how, please visit

About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.8 million acres of land nationwide, and helped states and communities craft and pass over 382 ballot measures, generating $33 billion in new conservation funding.