PA Gov. Ridge Receives Conservationist of the Year Award

PA Wildlife Federation, Audubon PA Cite `Growing Greener,'

Land Recycling, `Growing Smarter,' Other Environmental Initiatives



Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge tonight received the Conservationist of the Year
 Award from the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation and Audubon Pennsylvania.  At
 the Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet, the associations cited many Ridge
 Administration environmental achievements, including the $650 million "Growing
 Greener" program -- the state's largest-ever environmental investment; the
 "Growing Smarter" land-use reforms; and the Land Recycling Program.
     "Audubon Pennsylvania is pleased to join in the recognition of Gov. Tom
 Ridge as Pennsylvania's 2001 Conservationist of the Year," said Cindy Adams
 Dunn, Executive Director of Audubon Pennsylvania.  "His `Growing Greener'
 initiative has been the catalyst for myriad locally based conservation efforts
 to clean up abandoned mineland drainage, restore streams, create greenways,
 upgrade parks and conserve land.  Ridge's `Growing Smarter' land-use
 initiative provides local governments with important tools to plan wisely and
 combat sprawl.  Almost as importantly, the Governor's public recognition of
 the sprawl issue has galvanized public and legislative response to the issue.
 His nationally recognized brownfields program provides an important tool in
 the battle against sprawl by allowing the redevelopment of previously impacted
 sites."
     The award presentation comes two days after Earth Day, and less than a
 week since Gov. Ridge announced more than $30 million in grants for 340
 recreation and conservation projects in 63 counties statewide -- to protect
 open space; to support community parks and recreation; to enhance greenways;
 and to convert rails-to-trails.
     According to the program for the 17th annual awards event, "Gov. Tom Ridge
 has kept his focus on the importance of Pennsylvania's environmental heritage.
 Under his leadership, Pennsylvania has made an unprecedented investment in
 conservation and protection of our natural resources.
     "Under his Administration, our state parks and forests have benefited from
 more than $200 million in upgrades and improvements.  Our 2.1 million acres of
 state forest are classified as the largest certified forest in North America.
 Following the recommendations of the 21st Century Environment Commission, Gov.
 Ridge has moved forward on a land-use initiative called `Growing Smarter.'
     "With the award-winning Land Recycling Program, approximately 800
 industrial sites have been cleaned up, creating thousands of new jobs.  All
 areas of Pennsylvania -- from the shores of Lake Erie with his leadership on
 the Great Lakes Protection Fund, to the Chesapeake Bay with the signing of the
 2000 Agreement, to the numerous local watershed, recreational and
 land-conservation programs -- have benefited from his initiative, innovation
 and leadership.
     "His leadership has benefited these many aspects of Pennsylvania's
 environment, natural resources, recreational amenities and quality of life,
 and earns him the title of 2001 Conservationist of Year."
     In accepting the award, Gov. Ridge urged Pennsylvanians to treat every day
 like Earth Day.
     "We've worked hard to make Pennsylvania cleaner and greener," Gov. Ridge
 said.  "We've been blessed with terrific, hardworking partners in this effort
 -- from Audubon Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, to our
 own departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Conservation and
 Natural Resources (DCNR).
     "Pennsylvania's Constitution gives Pennsylvanians the right to clean air,
 to pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and
 esthetic values of the environment.  This is our right, but it's also our duty
 -- to treat every day like Earth Day.
     "I'm proud to receive this award, which I share with our partners and with
 the Pennsylvania youngsters who devote a day to cleaning up a state forest
 road; the retirees who camp for a week while cleaning up a state park; and the
 commuters who carpool or ride their bikes to work.  These Pennsylvania
 conservationists know that we don't inherit the environment and these lands
 from our ancestors, we borrow them from our children."
     Gov. Ridge cited the efforts of the many Pennsylvanians working together
 to improve Pennsylvania's environment.  Pennsylvanians volunteered a total of
 553,422 hours last year to improve Pennsylvania's natural resources in state
 parks and forests under DCNR's Conservation Volunteer Program.  This marked
 the highest volunteer hours recorded since the Governor launched the program
 in 1997.  The Conservation Volunteer Program is a PRIME initiative.  PRIME is
 led by Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker.
     Gov. Ridge also congratulated other 2001 Conservation Achievement Award
 winners, including Rep. David Argall (R-Schuylkill), a supporter of "Growing
 Greener," Conservation Legislator of the Year; Larry Williamson, DCNR Director
 of Recreation and Conservation, responsible for the $30 million in grants Gov.
 Ridge announced last week, Conservation Professional of the Year; Dr. Gary Alt
 of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Lenny Green/Inky Moore Conservation
 Educator Award; Scott Weidensaul, author and leader of volunteers who explore
 the migration of northern saw-whet owls, The Gail Rockwood Public Service
 Award, sponsored in part by DEP and DCNR; and Joseph E. Ibberson, who donated
 350 acres of land in Dauphin County for the first State Conservation Area
 through DCNR, and Alexander Boyd, who donated 900 acres to become the second
 State Conservation Area, known as Boyd Big Tree Preserve, Conservation
 Landowners of the Year.
     For more information about Ridge Administration environmental initiatives,
 log on to the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Tom Charles, Editor, Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116 or
 pager: 888-305-5214.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X53838957
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge tonight received the Conservationist of the Year
 Award from the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation and Audubon Pennsylvania.  At
 the Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet, the associations cited many Ridge
 Administration environmental achievements, including the $650 million "Growing
 Greener" program -- the state's largest-ever environmental investment; the
 "Growing Smarter" land-use reforms; and the Land Recycling Program.
     "Audubon Pennsylvania is pleased to join in the recognition of Gov. Tom
 Ridge as Pennsylvania's 2001 Conservationist of the Year," said Cindy Adams
 Dunn, Executive Director of Audubon Pennsylvania.  "His `Growing Greener'
 initiative has been the catalyst for myriad locally based conservation efforts
 to clean up abandoned mineland drainage, restore streams, create greenways,
 upgrade parks and conserve land.  Ridge's `Growing Smarter' land-use
 initiative provides local governments with important tools to plan wisely and
 combat sprawl.  Almost as importantly, the Governor's public recognition of
 the sprawl issue has galvanized public and legislative response to the issue.
 His nationally recognized brownfields program provides an important tool in
 the battle against sprawl by allowing the redevelopment of previously impacted
 sites."
     The award presentation comes two days after Earth Day, and less than a
 week since Gov. Ridge announced more than $30 million in grants for 340
 recreation and conservation projects in 63 counties statewide -- to protect
 open space; to support community parks and recreation; to enhance greenways;
 and to convert rails-to-trails.
     According to the program for the 17th annual awards event, "Gov. Tom Ridge
 has kept his focus on the importance of Pennsylvania's environmental heritage.
 Under his leadership, Pennsylvania has made an unprecedented investment in
 conservation and protection of our natural resources.
     "Under his Administration, our state parks and forests have benefited from
 more than $200 million in upgrades and improvements.  Our 2.1 million acres of
 state forest are classified as the largest certified forest in North America.
 Following the recommendations of the 21st Century Environment Commission, Gov.
 Ridge has moved forward on a land-use initiative called `Growing Smarter.'
     "With the award-winning Land Recycling Program, approximately 800
 industrial sites have been cleaned up, creating thousands of new jobs.  All
 areas of Pennsylvania -- from the shores of Lake Erie with his leadership on
 the Great Lakes Protection Fund, to the Chesapeake Bay with the signing of the
 2000 Agreement, to the numerous local watershed, recreational and
 land-conservation programs -- have benefited from his initiative, innovation
 and leadership.
     "His leadership has benefited these many aspects of Pennsylvania's
 environment, natural resources, recreational amenities and quality of life,
 and earns him the title of 2001 Conservationist of Year."
     In accepting the award, Gov. Ridge urged Pennsylvanians to treat every day
 like Earth Day.
     "We've worked hard to make Pennsylvania cleaner and greener," Gov. Ridge
 said.  "We've been blessed with terrific, hardworking partners in this effort
 -- from Audubon Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, to our
 own departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Conservation and
 Natural Resources (DCNR).
     "Pennsylvania's Constitution gives Pennsylvanians the right to clean air,
 to pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and
 esthetic values of the environment.  This is our right, but it's also our duty
 -- to treat every day like Earth Day.
     "I'm proud to receive this award, which I share with our partners and with
 the Pennsylvania youngsters who devote a day to cleaning up a state forest
 road; the retirees who camp for a week while cleaning up a state park; and the
 commuters who carpool or ride their bikes to work.  These Pennsylvania
 conservationists know that we don't inherit the environment and these lands
 from our ancestors, we borrow them from our children."
     Gov. Ridge cited the efforts of the many Pennsylvanians working together
 to improve Pennsylvania's environment.  Pennsylvanians volunteered a total of
 553,422 hours last year to improve Pennsylvania's natural resources in state
 parks and forests under DCNR's Conservation Volunteer Program.  This marked
 the highest volunteer hours recorded since the Governor launched the program
 in 1997.  The Conservation Volunteer Program is a PRIME initiative.  PRIME is
 led by Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker.
     Gov. Ridge also congratulated other 2001 Conservation Achievement Award
 winners, including Rep. David Argall (R-Schuylkill), a supporter of "Growing
 Greener," Conservation Legislator of the Year; Larry Williamson, DCNR Director
 of Recreation and Conservation, responsible for the $30 million in grants Gov.
 Ridge announced last week, Conservation Professional of the Year; Dr. Gary Alt
 of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Lenny Green/Inky Moore Conservation
 Educator Award; Scott Weidensaul, author and leader of volunteers who explore
 the migration of northern saw-whet owls, The Gail Rockwood Public Service
 Award, sponsored in part by DEP and DCNR; and Joseph E. Ibberson, who donated
 350 acres of land in Dauphin County for the first State Conservation Area
 through DCNR, and Alexander Boyd, who donated 900 acres to become the second
 State Conservation Area, known as Boyd Big Tree Preserve, Conservation
 Landowners of the Year.
     For more information about Ridge Administration environmental initiatives,
 log on to the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Tom Charles, Editor, Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116 or
 pager: 888-305-5214.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X53838957
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor