#NationalParkWeek: Cox Conserves Heroes Creating and Preserving Parks

#NationalParkWeek: Cox Conserves Heroes Creating and Preserving Parks

Volunteers protecting our parks for future generations

Saturday, April 15, 2017 - 10:30am


For many people, their happiest childhood memories were experienced at a community park or local playground. Parks and outdoor recreation play a significant role in early childhood development as well as the overall well-being of our eco-system. However, park care and maintenance is an ongoing effort that relies heavily on the involvement of community stewards. The Cox Conserves Heroes are volunteers across the nation – many of who dedicate their resources towards maintenance and improvement of parks, playgrounds and other outdoor spaces in their various communities. Here are five Cox Conserves Heroes who champion efforts towards creating and preserving our nation’s parks.

Angel Poventud, Atlanta’s 2010 Cox Conserves Hero, is an avid volunteer who utilizes his grassroots network to advocate environmental movements and inspire others to become involved. His weekends are spent working on BeltLine clean-up projects and helping the group convert abandoned rail corridors into parks. When not volunteering for the BeltLine, he can be found planting and mulching with Trees Atlanta. Watch his video.

Heidi Ketler, Virginia’s 2015 Cox Conserves Hero, 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. Watch her video.

Barbara Palan, California’s 2013 Cox Conserves Hero, has worn a broad range of hats, from answering phones and serving as a native plant docent to leading hikes and planting trees. Barbara is a member of the River Rescue team and San Diego River Park Foundation volunteer corps. Watch her video.

Linda Cotten-Taylor, Atlanta’s 2016 Cox Conserves Hero, believes that park maintenance and improvement is everyone’s duty versus just a few individuals. She brought this belief to life by securing funding to make improvements at Chapel Hill Park that include a playground, fishing pier, fitness stations and signage. In addition to being the park’s lead fundraiser, she facilitates volunteer cleanups and works with the Parks Department on security issues. Watch her video.

Chris Clifford, Virginia’s 2011 Cox Conserves Hero, created new fields and park amenities for Gloucester residents to enjoy. Chris helped construct fifteen athletic fields at local schools and parks, as well as a park entrance road and a wildlife habitat pond. After building the fields, he recruited volunteers to help seed, fertilize and cut the grass to maintain the areas. Watch his video.

Created in partnership between Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land, Cox Conserves Heroes recognizes environmental 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. It's our way of honoring the unsung heroes in our communities and supporting the organizations that matter to them.

Cox Conserves Heroes takes place in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington.

The program is part of Cox Enterprises national Cox Conserves sustainability program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.