TALT is proud to announce that our CEO, Blair Fitzsimons, is a recipient of the Audubon Texas 2017 Women in Conservation Terry Hershey Award along with fellow San Antonio conservationists Karen Hixon, a TALT Foundation board member, Susan Hughes, and Ruth Lofgren.
The Terry Hershey award is one component of Audubon’s Texas Women in Conservation program, which aims to highlight the conservation achievements of Texas women, to support girls and young women in the environmental sciences and to engage women in Texas conservation issues.
“The 2017 Terry Hershey Award winners personify the very best in conservation leadership, and it is our hope that these awards will shine a light on their work, inspire other women, and encourage young girls to get involved in conservation,” said Haily Summerford, interim executive director of Audubon Texas.
- Blair Fitzsimons serves as the Texas Agricultural Land Trust’s founding executive. Previously, as consultant to American Farmland Trust (AFT), Blair facilitated the start-up of the Texas Ag Land Trust. Today, the Ag Land Trust holds over 226,000 acres of privately owned working agricultural lands under conservation easement.
- Karen Hixon has served in key conservation leadership roles, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and was a member of the board of directors for The Nature Conservancy of Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. She also serves on the board of directors for the Peregrine Fund and the Texas Agricultural Land Trust Foundation.
- Susan Hughes has worked tirelessly on land and water issues in the south central Texas region and was elected to the Edwards Aquifer Authority Board at its inception in 1996, now serving as vice chair. She co-founded Sustainable San Antonio, which successfully advocated for dedicating a portion of local sales-tax revenue for aquifer protection, conserving more than 140,000 acres so far.
- Lifelong educator Ruth Lofgren was the guiding force in the creation of the Mitchell Lake Wetlands Society to educate children in environmental science. Her dedication to that effort led to the founding of the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in 2004. In her 100th year, Lofgren continues to inspire those around her.
The award is named for conservation icon Terry Hershey, who has devoted her time, energy and resources to significant conservation projects in Houston, throughout Texas and nationally for more than 50 years.
Like Terry Hershey, the 2017 honorees have made their world a better place by dedicating themselves to the conservation of our land, water and wildlife,” said Janice Bezanson, co-chair of the nomination committee and previous Terry Hershey award honoree. “Celebrating the achievements of these remarkable women is a fitting tribute to Terry’s legacy.”
Audubon Texas and Bexar Audubon Society will co-host the Terry Hershey Texas Women in Conservation Awards luncheon on April 13, 2017 at Pearl Stable in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, click here.
This blog post is an adaptation of the original press release put out by Audubon Texas. The full press release can be found here. The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive.