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Sherri Tombarge
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Environmental Leadership Award Goes to Ward Burton

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Preston Bryant presents the environmental leadership award to Ward Burton. (VMI Photo by Kevin Remington)

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Preston Bryant presents the environmental leadership award to Ward Burton.
(VMI Photo by Kevin Remington)

 

LEXINGTON, Va., April 17, 2008 – Environment Virginia has named Ward Burton of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation the winner of the 2008 Environmental Leadership Award.

The Environment Virginia Environmental Leadership Award was established to recognize a Virginian who has made significant individual efforts to better the Commonwealth’s environment through vision, expertise, commitment, integrity, communication, diplomacy, and charisma.

Ward Burton is a native Virginian from South Boston, and is married to Tabitha Burton. He has three children - Sarah, Jeb, and Ashton. As a NASCAR Cup driver he has multiple career wins, including the prestigious title of 2002 Daytona 500 Winner. Growing up, Ward spent much time in the great outdoors and often lived off the land for days on end at a place called the COVE, which his wildlife foundation owns and manages today.

Mr. Burton has always been passionate about the environment. The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation has many projects and programs that help sustain the environment. The Foundation manages projects such as VaRACER and the Army Compatible Use Program that are making a positive impact in local Virginia communities. The Foundation is holding conservation easements to help preserve the rural culture of Virginia. Foundation programs such as CONNECT and the Wounded Veteran initiative are helping educate children and helping support the wounded heroes that have unselfishly served our country. The Cove is a 2,000+ acre wildlife refuge that the Foundation manages. Mr. Burton has embraced the “cooperative conservation” principle of enlisting multiple partners such as local, state, and federal governments, non-profits, corporations, and the public to solve environmental problems and making the communities better.

As part of winning the award, the Environment Virginia conference would donate $1,000 in Mr. Burton’s name to an organization of his choice. Mr. Burton has chosen to not only donate the $1,000 to the Children in Nature program, but match the $1,000 with a donation of his own, while encouraging conference attendees to donate to the program as well. On the award, Mr. Burton states "I certainly appreciate this award. I don't do conservation to be recognized, and the real work is done by the WBWF staff and sponsors. It is the good people with the same passion about preserving natural resources for future generations that make the Foundation projects flourish."

The 19th annual Environment Virginia conference, hosted by Virginia Military Institute and the Virginia Military Institute Research Laboratories, along with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Environmental Endowment, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Norfolk Division), was held on the VMI Post April 1st – 3rd. The conference mission is to bring together the public and private sectors of Virginia to exchange information and transfer technology to help resolve environmental issues in the Commonwealth.

-VMI-

Cutline:

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Preston Bryant presents the environmental leadership award to Ward Burton. (VMI Photo by Kevin Remington)