News release from state Department of Environment and Conservation
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau presented the 2014 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville today, recognizing all honorees whose efforts have made a positive impact on Tennessee’s natural resources.
“Today’s announcement celebrates Tennesseans who are committed to our environment,” Haslam said. “Recognizing these innovative efforts that help conserve and protect our natural resources is important in keeping our communities strong and economically viable. I am proud to work alongside each and every one of the winners announced today.”
The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. In its 28th year, this year’s awards program covers nine categories: Building Green; Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach; Environmental Education and Outreach (school category); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; and Sustainable Performance.
“It’s important that we recognize the people and organizations that work so hard to protect our environment, while also teaching others about sustainability,” added TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “The better we take care of our environment, the better our quality of life, which directly impacts how Tennesseans live, work and play.”
A panel of 21 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 75 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.
The 2014 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award winners are:
The Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award
The Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Winfield Dunn, former Governor for the state of Tennessee from 1971 to 1975.
Winfield Dunn’s fingerprints and name are on some of the most important environmental protection and natural resource conservation laws in the history of Tennessee. During the early 1970s, Gov. Dunn’s Administration was not only responsible for moving Tennessee forward with landmark conservation progress in Natural Areas, Strip Mining Prevention, and critical land acquisition like Savage Gulf, but Gov. Dunn also oversaw passage of the TN Water Quality Control Act in 1971. That law has served as the cornerstone protecting our state’s waters and was a model for others states as they developed their own water protection programs. During this time, there was also much public support for protecting unique natural areas, and Gov. Dunn worked in concert with key citizen groups that believed places like Savage Gulf and Radnor Lake were worth protecting and preserving.