RALEIGH – A local environmentalist’s efforts have been recognized by the state.
Beth Heile, founder and president of the Friends of the Valdese Rec, has received the North Carolina Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award in the category of Wildlife Volunteer.
Known for her dedication to the Valdese community and conservation, Heile worked for years to improve natural resource protection and improve park land for Valdese citizens. In her work with the Friends of Valdese Rec., Heile helped to procure private and public grants for the purchase of 302 acres of wooded lakefront property on Lake Rhodhiss for a new park.
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation recently announced the winners of the 55th annual awards, notable conservation devotees who work for wildlife and habitat and those who cherish natural resources. They are land stewardship champions, water advocates, and leaders in the preservation of unique ecosystems. The award winners include agency professionals, elected officials, researchers, nonprofit leaders and organizations rising to the challenge. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation first presented its conservation awards in 1958.
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“Each year we are amazed at the commitment and creativity of North Carolina citizens in protecting wildlife and wild places,” stated T. Edward Nickens, NCWF awards committee chair. “Many of our award winners tell us their Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award represents the high point of their career, whether they are full-time scientists or full-time volunteer conservationists.” These prestigious awards are the highest natural resource honors given in the state. By recognizing, publicizing and honoring these conservation leaders–young and old, professional and volunteer-the North Carolina Wildlife Federation hopes to inspire all North Carolinians to take a more active role in protecting the natural resources of our state.
Award winners are nominated by the citizens of North Carolina and decided upon by a committee of scientists, environmental educators and conservation activists.
“This awards program brings together a remarkably diverse group of conservationists to highlight the good news about wildlife conservation in North Carolina,” said Nickens. “Our primary focus is to applaud and honor these people who work so hard for wildlife and the air, water, land, that they and all of us depend on. ”
Award winners will be honored at a banquet on Sept. 8 in Cary.