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Watch the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards Videos

Couldn't make the event?  Click here to watch the films featuring this year's award winners.  Films produced and directed by Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens; Makendra Silverman, Associate Producer; Cyd Cohn, Writer and Production Assistant.

Colorado faces some of the greatest conservation challenges in the nation.  And it responds with some of the greatest conservation successes—championed by people for whom protecting important places, leading by example, teaching our children about the natural world, and setting new benchmarks for a sustainable future are a part of their daily lives.  On September 29, at the first annual Southern Colorado Conservation Awards, Palmer Land Trust honored the significant achievements of individuals and organizations that, through their conservation efforts, have helped to advance the future wellbeing of southern Colorado’s communities, people, ecologies, and economies.

Over 200 people attended the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards, which took place at the Antler's Hilton Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs.  Four awards were presented.  The Stewardship Award went to Dave Van Manen and the Mountain Park Environmental Center, located in Beulah, Colorado, for the Center's far reaching efforts that have imbued an ethic of conservation stewardship in thousands of children and adults.  The Friends of Open Space Award went to Reeves and Betsy Brown of the 3R Ranch, also in Beulah, for their diverse roles in protecting important agricultural lands across southern Colorado and advancing the cause of Holistic Range Management.  The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, in Colorado Springs, won The Innovation in Conservation Award for its pioneering Quarters for Conservation program.  And Judy Sellers won The Stuart P. Dodge Award for conservation achievements spanning local, state, national, and international landscapes.

Citizens in southern Colorado nominated award candidates, and an independent Blue Ribbon Panel selected this year's winners from the list of candidates.  Panelists included Pueblo County Commissioner Jeff Chostner, Bee Vradenburg Foundation President Phil Kendall, Colorado Nature Conservancy Past President Kathy Loo, Pueblo Chieftain Assistant Publisher Jane Rawlings, and El Pomar CFO Thayer Tutt.