The program recognizes volunteers who are creating or preserving outdoor spaces. The winner will receive $10,000 to donate to his or her selected nonprofit beneficiary, and the finalists each will receive $2,500 for their nonprofits of choice.
New Orleans'Earl Antwine has mentored more than 30 youth in the River Garden neighborhood. Through his community garden, Antwine provides internships to grow vegetables that are used as ingredients for hot sauce, which is bottled and sold to benefit the program. The youth are learning job skills, marketing, organic urban farming and horticulture. Through God's Vineyard Garden, the youth are becoming environmental stewards. Antwine's nonprofit of choice is Parkway Partners.
New Orleans'Benjamin Goliwas coordinates shoreline cleanups throughout the year and focuses on engaging youth. By introducing them to the problem of marine debris, Goliwas offers local kids an opportunity to make a difference through community clean-up events. The clean-ups keep the debris from harming marine animals and help beautify the community. His clean-ups have removed appliances, furniture, cars and even a submerged boat from the marina. Goliwas' nonprofit of choice is The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.
Baton Rouge'sMatt Thomas helps preserve the area's lake system to provide a safe, healthy and beautiful setting for local citizens and visitors to enjoy. He organizes work days to remove invasive plants and debris that cause water quality problems. The area is frequently used by fans attending sporting events, so Thomas installed trash bins to prevent littering. Thomas' nonprofit of choice is The University Lakes Improvement and Preservation Association (TULIPA).
A judging panel of civic and environmental leaders selected the three finalists. The finalist who receives the most votes will be announced as Louisiana's 2014 Cox Conserves Hero on Sept. 18.
The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, to honor local conservation volunteers. Cox Conserves Heroes takes place in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson); California (Orange County, San Diego and Santa Barbara); Georgia (Atlanta); Louisiana (Acadiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans); Virginia (Fairfax County/Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads and Roanoke) and Washington (Seattle). Through the Cox Conserves Heroes program, more than $400,000 has been donated to environmental nonprofits and more than 130 volunteers have been recognized.
Social Media: #CoxConservesHeroes and #CoxConservesHero
About Cox Communications: Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet and telephone services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable TV company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and new media advertising.
Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For eight years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; Cox has ranked among DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity nine times, including the last eight years. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.
About The Trust for Public Land: The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at www.tpl.org.
About Cox Conserves: Launched in 2007 by Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves is Cox Enterprises' national sustainability program. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The program engages each of the company's major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Media Group and Cox Automotive) and encourages Cox Enterprises' 50,000 employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices.
The company's sustainability goals are to send zero waste to landfill in the next 7-10 years and become carbon and water neutral in the next 25-30 years.