#EarthMonth Profile: Cox Conserves Heroes Improve Outdoor Spaces For All

#EarthMonth Profile: Cox Conserves Heroes Improve Outdoor Spaces For All

Program celebrates environmental volunteers, supports local nonprofits

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#CoxConservesHeroes celebrates #green volunteers http://bit.ly/1ZQfNPs
Friday, April 1, 2016 - 10:30am


April is a month to observe sustainability and encourage eco-friendly behavior. The Cox Conserves Heroes program, however, celebrates environmental volunteers all year long.

How does it work?

Created in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, Cox Conserves Heroes recognizes volunteers and makes donations to local nonprofits on their behalf. 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.

The program has donated more than $600,000 to environmental nonprofits and honored more than 150 volunteers.

Get to Know the 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. Her nonprofit of choice is the 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. His nonprofit of choice is 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. His nonprofit of choice is the 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. Her nonprofit of choice is the 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. His nonprofit of choice is 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. His nonprofit of choice is the 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. Her nonprofit of choice is the Roanoke Valley Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Learn more about the program at CoxConservesHeroes.com.

About Cox Enterprises:
Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees, the company's major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms). The company's major national brands include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, Savings.com and Valpak. To learn more about Cox's commitment to people, sustainability and our communities, please visit CoxCSRReport.com.