Tuesday, June 19, 2007

International Paper Recognizes Conservation Leaders

Washington D.C. — International Paper and The Conservation Fund today recognized John Tippett, executive director of Friends of the Rappahannock, and Donald Sprangers, a secondary school educator at Washington Academy in Maine, for their outstanding efforts to protect natural resources through leadership in conservation and education at the International Paper Environmental Excellence Awards.

The awards for excellence in partnership and education were accompanied by an unrestricted $10,000 grant from the International Paper Company Foundation. They were presented in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club. U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-VA) delivered the keynote address. International Paper Chairman and CEO John Faraci and The Conservation Fund President and CEO Lawrence A. Selzer presented the awards.

"The individuals recognized here today are leaders among their peers and champions of creative and collaborative conservation," said Sen. Warner. "It is fitting that International Paper and The Conservation Fund highlight the accomplishments that these two award winners have made to promoting partnerships and environmental education."

The Conservation Partnership Award honors an individual who has achieved significant results in the protection of habitat through a cooperative relationship with a business or company. The Environmental Education Award honors an educator who has developed an innovative approach to environmental education that significantly improves student comprehension of environmental issues, fosters an understanding of the link between environmental protection and economic growth, demonstrates leadership and inspires achievement.

John Tippett, the 2007 IP Conservation Partnership recipient, was recognized for his work to protect Virginia's Rappahannock River. Mr. Tippett's efforts include cooperative conservation programs and the education of stakeholders on key issues and the balance of environmental and economic benefits. His continuing initiatives on the Rappahannock include the removal of the Embrey Dam to restore more than 100 miles of spawning habitat for native fish species, mobilization of governmental agencies and real-estate developers for low-impact development, and the completion of two conservation easements on key river frontage.

The 2007 IP Environmental Education recipient, Donald Sprangers, was honored for outstanding curriculum innovation and cooperative education. Mr. Sprangers created the Sustainable LIFE (Lessons in Field Ecology) Curriculum to allow students to develop key science skills through applied research projects they create and implement. He continues to challenge his students in the classroom through community based projects such as the release of endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine, streamside restoration using plants grown in the school's own wetland nursery and a forest inventory growth project.

To view short videos with more about Donald Sprangers and John Tippett and their contributions to environmental education and conservation partnerships in their communities, visit YouTube Tippett or Sprangers.

This worthwhile recognition program not only draws attention to important conservation efforts, International Paper Company does an outstanding job at demonstrating social media at its best. By embedding links to videos on Tippett and Sprangers, we were able to fully appreciate their outstanding work. Check them out.

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